Broward Heath Coral Springs is giving people in the community a chance to get fit while supporting a cause.
Proceeds from the Coral Springs Half-Marathon and Race For Women’s Wellness 5K Run/Walk, which will take place on March 28 at the Coral Springs Tennis Center, will benefit the Broward Health Coral Springs Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund. The money is used to provide free mammograms to women in the community who are not able to afford them.
Lisa Boccard, whose courageous fight against breast cancer inspired her brother Vince, former mayor, and wife Terry to start the fund, has seen the event grow over the years. “We started the fund 12 years ago; the race is 10 years old. We have been fortunate to receive great support from the community. It is looking great this year, too; the number of people who have registered so far is up from last year.”
Money from the fund is used not only for mammograms but also to provide follow-up procedures for women who need them. “We are paying for breast ultrasound and biopsies, as well,” said Boccard, who has successfully fought breast cancer for 24 years and is now in remission. “We started out helping women in Coral Springs, but we now cover almost 90 percent of the county.”
The event attracted 1,500 people last year, said Barbara Epes, Broward Health regional manager of marketing and physician relations. “We are expecting more this year. It is our signature fundraising event; we raised $29,000 last year. This year, our goal is $35,000.”
The half-marathon attracts some of the best runners in the region, said Epes. “The 5K run/walk is more of a fun event, perfect for the whole family. A lot of people do it to support the cause or in someone’s memory. We have had the 5K walk/run for 10 years; the half-marathon was introduced three years ago.”
All of the money raised is spent to help women in the community. “Over the years, we have screened over 2,000 women and 74 were found to have breast cancer,” Epes said. “We were able to provide them treatment or connect them to organizations that could help them. We ensure that they are taken care of.”
His knees are giving him trouble, but that won’t stop Vince from being at the event. “I will be there with my daughter supporting the event,” he said. “I expect nothing less than a great turnout. It is a great cause, and Coral Springs has always been good about supporting noble causes.”
The half-marathon, which is $80, starts at 6 a.m.; the 5K run/walk starts at 7:30 a.m. and costs $35. Register at BrowardHealth.org/ WomensRace. Coral Springs Tennis Center is located at 2575 Sportsplex Drive.
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