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Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Walk marks 20th year

LOCKPORT – For two decades, Lockport-area residents have been gathering beside the Erie Canal on Mother’s Day to enjoy a scenic walk and raise money to fight breast cancer. More than $400,000 has been raised during its history.

Next Sunday, the 20th anniversary walk will include a few new features, according to Rebecca Florio of Lockport’s Micro Graphics, one of the organizers.

“This year, we’ll have some incentives,” Florio said. “The top five people that raise the most money will get to choose from among the top prizes.”

The prize lineup hasn’t been finalized, but Florio said she expects an Amazon Fire tablet to be among the top prizes.

As always, there will be a basket auction, with ticket sales beginning at 10:30 a.m., the same time registration for the walk will begin. The sales end when the walk starts, which is at 1 p.m., rain or shine.

The starting point will be the Nelson C. Goehle Widewaters Marina on Market Street in Lockport, with one- and two-mile courses along the Erie Canalway Trail.

Peter P. Robinson, Lockport’s favorite patriotic singer, will perform “God Bless America” at the start of the walk, Florio said.

Those who raise $35 will receive a 20th anniversary T-shirt, while supplies last, and those who reach the $50 plateau also will receive a goodie bag. Also, Florio said 700 mini-cupcakes are being donated to be served to the walkers.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, the U.S. Postal Service will have representatives at the walk to offer a special pictorial postmark and sell 60-cent breast cancer research stamps. The postmark is a postal collector’s item, but it can be applied only to first-class mail bearing postage stamps that have not yet been canceled, the Postal Service said.

Online donations may be made and the pledge form downloaded at breastcancercanalwalk.org.

Sponsorship is a single donation and is not pegged to the distance walked. Last year, with the event fortunately landing on a summerlike day, between 600 and 700 people walked and a near-record $48,000 was raised for Mary’s Wig Room, an American Cancer Society facility at 101 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst.

It makes wigs available to cancer patients whose chemotherapy or radiation treatments have caused hair loss. Florio said last year more than 500 patients obtained wigs there, including a few men.

“We have toupees,” Florio said.

The room is named for Florio’s sister, Mary F. Marvin, who died of breast cancer in 1998. In 1996, she founded what was then known as the Wig Depot.

“The Eastern Division of the American Cancer Society has 17 Mary’s Wig Rooms,” Florio said. They are located across New York and as far away as New York City and New Jersey.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com