Making Strides Hosts Drive-Thru for Breast Cancer Research, Treatment

Making Strides for Connecticut is known for its annual 5k with a goal of raising money for breast cancer research and treatment, but COVID-19 forced the organization to alter this year's plans.

Breast cancer ribbons and decked out cars in pink balloons and confetti filled the parking lot of the Founders Plaza in East Hartford on Sunday morning.

It's one of the many ways that the Making Strides for Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society are raising money and awareness for research and treatments.

Volunteers showed up this morning to cheer on supporters and donors for the first Drive-Thru Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

This year has been a tough year for the American Cancer Society and their fundraising campaigns. It's estimated that COVID-19 will reduce the ability to fund cancer research by 50 percent by the end of the year. This statistic means it will be the lowest investment of the century.

It's the key reason why fundraising campaigns like the drive-thru are critical for the fight against cancer.

"We still wanted to come up with a way to have survivors come out safely and have people come out and support the cause and make donations and increase breast cancer awareness," said American Cancer Society Communications Director Stephanie Balesano.

"It's crucial now more than ever to make sure we're supporting cancer patients because even during the pandemic, we've had people who have been diagnosed and need treatment, so we have to continue to push forward and not stop the progress," she added.

Several decorated cars, trucks even a bus drove around in support for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer's first drive-thru event.

Lines of cars made their way through a group of volunteers cheering on each car and truck. Even a bus made its way down the line.

"I love seeing all the people and just celebrating that you're alive," said Carol Reed, an 11 year breast cancer survivor. "At one time, when people had breast cancer, they didn't even talk about it, now you have so much support and it's wonderful," she said.

If you didn't get a chance to make it out to today's drive-thru fundraiser, you still have time to make it to one of the many other events.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of New London County - Sunday, October 18, 2020 - Rocky Neck State Park, Niantic - 10:30 a.m.  11:30 a.m.- www.MakingStridesWalk.org/NewLondonCT 

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Greater New Haven - Sunday, October 18, 2020 - Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven - 10:30 a.m.  11:30 a.m. - www.MakingStridesWalk.org/NewHavenCT

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Fairfield County - Sunday, October 25, 2020 - Sherwood Island State Park, Westport - 9:00 a.m.  12:00 p.m. - www.MakingStridesWalk.org/FairfieldCountyCT

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Litchfield County - (Date TBD) - White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield - 10:30 a.m.  11:30 a.m. - www.MakingStridesWalk.org/LitchfieldCT 

NBC Connecticut is a proud sponsor of Making Strides for Connecticut.

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