The event raises money for the Chilkat Valley Cancer Travel Fund and raises awareness about breast cancer and breast health. This is the second year participants can run or bicycle the course, in addition to walking.
The 23-mile event from Klukwan to Haines starts at 8 a.m. at the Klukwan Health Center and ends at the Haines School. A bus departs the school at 7:15 a.m. to take participants to the start of the course, along with a trailer to haul bicycles.
There is a second start time at 10 a.m. at 10 Mile Haines Highway for people who want to start later and not complete the entire course. The bus leaves the school at 9:30 a.m. for the second start.
The bus returns to Haines from 10 Mile at noon. It will carry water and be able to pick up people who need to leave the course.
Participants are encouraged to pack their own water bottles and snacks, as there will only be three aid stations along the route. There will be volunteers driving the highway with “support vehicle” markings that will have water and snacks.
The event is open to walkers, runners and bicycle riders of all ages and genders. There is a $10 suggested donation that goes to the travel fund, which provides a one-time stipend for Haines residents diagnosed with cancer.
Participants also can obtain pledge sheets for people to gather sponsors. Since the event started in 2007, about 450 participants have raised approximately $6,700 for the travel fund and other cancer causes.
“In addition to raising funds with this walk, we hope to keep awareness high that early detection of breast cancer saves lives,” said nurse Pam Sloper, Wisewoman Women’s Health Program Patient Care Coordinator at the SEARHC Haines Health Center.
“Along with our partners at AP&T and the Haines Well and Fit Community Council, we are committed to educating everyone about the importance of good nutrition and exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and decreasing your breast cancer risk. Get a group of friends together, have some fun, enjoy the beautiful route and raise funds for a great cause,” Sloper said.
To learn more about the Chilkat River Walk, contact SEARHC’s Kathryn Friedle at 766-6366 or Pam Sloper at 766-6367.
The event is sponsored by the SEARHC Wisewoman Women’s Health Program, Alaska Power and Telephone, and the Haines Well and Fit Community Council, with contributions from Olerud’s Market Center, Howser’s IGA store, Sockeye Cycle, Southeast Alaska State Fair and Alaska Guardhouse Lodging.