YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This year’s physical Panerathon was canceled, but organizers took the yearly fundraiser online for everyone who looks forward to it.
The Panerathon helps to support the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center. Because of the pandemic, this year’s event was canceled. It would have been the 11th year for the large fundraiser.
Instead of cancelling completely, this year’s Panerathon went virtual on July 15.
For the past several weeks, participants have been going online and picking a route (either a 10K run or a walk and a two-mile run or walk) or choosing their own route in their neighborhoods, even on a treadmill.
After the run or walk is complete, participants would log their activity on the Panerathon website.
Organizers said it was important to move forward this year with an augmented Panerathon for those who benefit from the fundraiser.
“Maybe it was their first chemo or they were just finishing chemo, and they have tears in their eyes explaining what it meant to them that somebody was putting on an event like this for them. Just hearing their experiences and what it felt like being on site and to look around and see all of these organizations and family members coming out to support them,” said Ashlee Mauti, director of marketing for Covelli Enterprises.
To date, the Panerathon has raised over $3 million and has attracted over 12,000 participants.
This year’s event is likely to take a hit financially. Each year sponsorships help bring in about $500,000. This year organizers expect to see substantially less.
There is no registration fee and contributions can be handled right on the website. T-shirts can be purchased by anyone on the website, too. A portion of the t-shirt proceeds go to the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.
“It is really for the women of the Valley. Everybody knows someone who is affected by cancer, and you’re showing them support, and it’s you showing them support and love which is probably what they need more than anything,” Mauti said.
This year’s virtual Panerathon ends Saturday, Aug. 15.
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