YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A damp and overcast Sunday isn’t stopping the excitement for Panerathon as it kicks off at the Covelli Centre on Sunday.
It’s the Valley’s largest community fundraising event. Last year they were virtual because of the pandemic, but this year people are back to racing together.
A large portion of the proceeds go to promote research, education and awareness of breast cancer.
“We’re looking forward to people coming together again as a community to support an incredible cause,” said Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley President Paul Homick.
To date, the Panerathon has raised more than $3 million for the Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley in support of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center, the first and only center of its kind in the Youngstown area.
“We are able to provide the highest quality of care right here in the Valley to anyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay,” Homick said.
The 10K started at 10 a.m. and the 2 mile run/walk started shortly after at 10:05 a.m.
The kid’s run started at 11:30 a.m.
The center has helped lots of women, including one breast cancer survivor Michelle Apple.
“Your journey is your journey and that’s so important to understand. Also understand to keep hope and understand that you’re going to have bad days, and it’s OK. Pick yourself up the next day and know that you have support,” Apple said.
Apple started her own foundation to help raise money to offset medical bills for women battling breast cancer. Her organization is hosting a cornhole tournament next Sunday at Boardman Park.