5K brings in 320 runners to help fight breast cancer

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 02:34 PM

At 9 a.m. Saturday, approximately 320 runners were racing down Main Street  in downtown Monroe for the annual Firefighters for the Cure 5K.

Some could be seen running in the teal colored T-shirts provided for the event while others wore pink or other colors for teams they created for the event.

While some chose to run as a way to show support for breast cancer awareness, some had personal reasons for why they wanted to participate in the 5K.

"Me and my sister-in-law both have family members who have had breast cancer," Shauna Smith, a firefighter with the Allen's Crossroads Fire Department and a paramedic, said.

Some participated individually in the event while others formed large teams. A large group of friends and family of Elaine Vincoli came out Saturday in pink T-shirts that read Team Vincoli written in light blue across them.

"Team Vincoli was kept a secret," Cynthia Goodwin, a friend of Vincoli's who along with Carol Williams helped organize the team, said.

Elaine Vincoli was recently diagnosed with cancer and they decided to form a team to walk in the 5K and show support for her. The team consisted of 47 people that included friends and family of hers as well as others in the community who wanted to come out and show support for her. They kept the team secret until Saturday and told her they were taking her out to breakfast that morning but instead surprised her with members of Team Vincoli walking down the street in their T-shirts. They also surprised her with a shirt for herself and told her that morning that she was also walking in the 5k, Goodwin said.

"It is the epitome of Christian love," Vincoli said in reference to how she felt about being surprised by her friends and family.

She is very grateful to all of them who came out as a part of Team Vincoli to show their support, she said.

With 47 people on their team, Team Vincoli won the Firefighters for the Cure 5K award for the largest civilian team. 

In addition to runners who participated in the event, she estimates that around 500 people attended Saturday. This included various vendors that set up tables during the event and others who stopped by Saturday, Windi Henderson, a member of Firefighters for the Cure, who helped organize Saturday's event, said.

In addition to Team Vincoli winning the title for largest civilian team, Wingate Volunteer Fire Department won the award for largest fire department team. When it came to 5K runners, Garrett Hamilton was named the 1st Place Male winner with a time of 18 minutes and 19 seconds and Courtney Davis was named the 1st Place Female winner with a time of 20 minutes and seven seconds, Henderson said.

When not running in the 5K, runners and others had the chance to visit the many different vendors at the event that set up tables in front of the Union County Government Center and the Union County Courthouse. In all there were around 20 vendors, some of which planned to donate a portion of their proceeds to Firefighters for the Cure. Union Breast Surgery Specialists as well as Bras for the Cause, the BCC Rally Pink Bow Campaign, The Pampered Chef, Brelyn Treats and Advocare, were some organizations and companies with tables at the event. Those attending the 5K also had the opportunity to vote on decorated bras at the Bras for the Cause table Saturday. The top three winners will be announced during Tickled Pink for Breast Cancer at the Rolling Hills Country Club on Oct. 17.

Boyce Adams, another member of Firefighters for the Cure, described the turnout for Saturday's 5K as fantastic.

"It's always overwhelming how many people show up to support the local organization and people battling cancer," he said.

For more information about Firefighters for the Cure visit its Facebook page or send an e-mail to windihenderson@hembybridgevfd.com.