Romp to Stomp gives cancer a chase |

Romp to Stomp gives cancer a chase

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO ” On March 10, look past the sea of pink hats and hear more than the crunching of snow under snowshoes at the Frisco Nordic Center. Observe the participants in the fifth-annual Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series event with cards pinned to their jackets. Take a moment to read what’s written on the cards, and see why these people are part of the pink wave.

“That’s what got me,” third-year Romp veteran and Frisco resident Mary Sommer said of the myriad cards. “All the people with the names on their backs ” they were celebrating or remembering people. That’s what got me more than the pink hats.”

This year, Sommer’s card will have three people on it: her sister Annie, her best friend Michelle, “and the very last one is myself,” she said, adding herself to the list of people close to her affected by breast cancer. Sommer is now a survivor, having finished radiation treatments in 2004.

Money and donations from the Romp go toward the Denver affiliate for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which used to be called the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Joan Davids, chairperson of the Digital Mammography Fund, said the name was changed to highlight the organization’s mission: to end breast cancer forever.

Silverthorne resident Pam Bent said she’s involved for that very reason. She has helped with Romp logistics since it started five years ago. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990, Bent now calls herself a “survivor,” but added, “you’re never really cancer-free.”

“I go in for a mammogram every year,” Bent said. “And you just hope every time you’re clear.”

Bent added that advances have been made in breast cancer treatment technology since she was diagnosed.

“There’s not as much chemotherapy and there are digital mammograms now,” she said. “That’s a better way to diagnose stuff.” (Summit County is currently raising funds for its own digital mammography machine. Davids, the Digital Mammography Funds’ chairperson, hopes the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center will have a machine in operation by 2008.)

Davids said the event is expected to raise over $70,000 this year for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Last year’s total was $63,000, with the past four years’ donations totaling over $162,000.

Along with the fundraising, which Davids said “is what the event is all about,” spectators and participants will notice the pink hats dotting the Frisco Nordic Center’s generally white landscape.

Bent said the hats were for survivors, and the repetition of color “is incredibly inspiring because you’re doing such a good job for everybody.”

There’s a Summit County story behind the pastel beanies. The threads weave together just like the women united by the fight against breast cancer and the groups they belong to.

Sommer’s knitting group, the Purly Girls, makes hats for the birthing center at St. Anthony Summit, “but also for kids doing chemotherapy at the Denver center,” she said. “Everyone is interrelated up here between Curves and knitting and the Romp.”

The strength of a soft pastel is evident in the footsteps of the Romp participants each year. Bent is hoping that with more events held for the cure, pink will represent the past.

“It can happen,” she said. “It will take a lot more events like the Romp.”

” What: A 3K or 5K benefit walk or a 3K fun race to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure

” When: March 10. Open registration, check-in and pledge collections go from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. A silent auction and pancake breakfast will be held from 8 – 11 a.m. The 3K snowshoe fun race begins at 9:30 a.m. and the 3K or 5K snowshoe benefit walk starts at 10 a.m.

” Where: Frisco Nordic Center

” Register: Registration is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event. Participants who collect pledges in addition to the registration fee will be eligible for raffle tickets to be used in a drawing from event sponsors. Anyone raising over $100 will receive a special thank-you gift. Preregistration will be held on Saturday, March 3 at the Wells Fargo locations in Breckenridge, Dillon and Frisco from 9 to noon and Coldwater Creek in the Silverthorne Factory Outlets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

” Snowshoes: Tubbs Snowshoes will provide limited quantities of free demo snowshoes for use on a first-come first-served basis.

” Parking: Available at Summit High School and the County Commons near Frisco. Shuttle buses will be transporting people to the Frisco Nordic Center. If registering on the day of the event, plan for an extra 35-45 minutes.

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