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Y-ME Fitness Fest raises more than $40,000

October 26, 1997

Scores of people ran, walked and exercised at Hagerstown Junior College from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday to help Tri-State women in their fight against breast cancer.

Participants in the 1997 Y-ME Fitness Fest raised more than $40,000 Saturday to benefit breast cancer education and assistance programs run by the non-profit Y-ME of the Cumberland Valley, said Y-ME spokeswoman Sunny England.

"There were probably 300 to 400 participating this year," England said. "It was our biggest crowd ever. We were thrilled when we saw the people turning out today."

England said the 5-K run, in its second year, grew in popularity. "Last year we had a field of 60. This year we had a field of 90 plus," she said.

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Other events were three 45-minute sessions of low-impact aerobics, and a 5-K walk.

This is the third year of a program sponsored by Y-ME in which the group pays for mammograms for Tri-State area women who otherwise would not be able to get one.

The large turnout for Saturday's Fitness Fest will enable Y-ME to expand the mammogram assistance program, England said. "Any woman who needs it and can't afford it, we'll pay for it," she said. "This will be especially important since some government programs are going by the wayside."

So far, England said her group has helped more than 50 women get mammograms.

There are 200 paid members in Y-ME - many of them breast cancer survivors. However, the group sends newsletters to a mailing list of 5,000, England said. "We try to provide information and education for as many women as we can," she said. "Our hearts are in it."

"We've been real heartened by the support we've gotten from this community - from women and from a growing number of men," England said.

This year's Fitness Fest was co-sponsored by Y-ME and The Herald-Mail Co.

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