Can walking be more powerful than just putting one foot in front of the other? In La Crosse, Wis., walking can spur a movement. A team of Globe University-La Crosse students, staff and their families learned that walking can take steps in building community support, awareness and research for breast cancer.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, Globe students, staff and their families joined thousands of supporters for the annual Steppin’ Out in Pink walk for breast cancer awareness and research. In its eighth year, Steppin’ Out in Pink has involved thousands of volunteers and breast cancer survivors, and over a million dollars have been raised for local breast cancer research, according to the Gundersen Medical Foundation.
Globe University is a happy supporter of the event and understands the “excellent chance to get out and support the community,” according to Medical Assistant Instructor Jackie Lee. “It’s great to do something good for myself and I can spend time with Globe students and faculty outside of school.”
A Globe Tradition
Students and staff have participated in the event since Globe-La Crosse opened its doors. This year, the team, led by medical assistant student Shanleigh Ritger, grew to 25 students, staff, and their family members. What’s the reason every member shares of why they joined the team? It’s for a great cause.
Anna Bock, a Globe University medical assistant school student, joined the team and motivated her husband to support the cause as well. Walking side-by-side for the event, they shared that they wanted to support Steppin’ Out in Pink together to make a larger impact. DeAnn Perzel, a first time Steppin’ Out in Pink participant, also got her husband and Globe student, Michael, involved. Both DeAnn and Michael are very active in their community and saw this event as an opportunity to get involved and give back together. “It feels good to support a great cause,” shared Michael.
Generations Coming Together
Husbands and wives weren’t the only family teams walking together. Not only did Shanleigh coordinate the Globe team of walkers, she also invited her father to join her. David, Shanleigh’s dad, is a heart attack survivor and has walked in other awareness events. Teaming up for their first walk together, they took steps to build awareness and also work toward healthy lifestyles themselves. Along with this father and daughter team, Erin Huber and her mother Diane added to Globe’s volunteer force.
“If they see me volunteer, they may want to volunteer,” explained medical assistant student Audrey Brooks. The Brooks family multiplied their efforts with a team of five! Audrey enlisted her four children to the team. Volunteering as a family, Audrey hoped to inspire her children to get involved and understand the importance of giving back at a young age.
Many participants walked to support their family and friends that have been touched by cancer. Nan Foster, a medical assistant student, along with Judy Graff, Globe faculty member, both shared stories of friends or relatives that battled cancer. Even with these thoughts on the minds of many walkers, everyone enjoyed the five mile walk spent in the camaraderie of friends and supporters.
“Volunteering is one of my favorite things to do,” shared Ritger.