60 miles in 3 days in fight against breast cancer


May 20, 2002|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IN OCTOBER, Carol Wilkes of Ellicott City was host of a surprise party to celebrate her mother's 20-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. It was a great party, in part because all 23 of Adriana Lake's grandchildren were there.

This year, Wilkes honored her mother, who lives in Virginia, in another way. Wilkes walked 60 miles during three days and raised more than $2,600 to help fund the fight against breast cancer. She was one of 4,558 walkers who participated in the Avon Breast Cancer three-day walk May 3-5.

The group walked from Baltimore to Washington and raised $6.5 million as part of a continuing Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which organizes such walks throughout the country.

Wilkes, 35, a home health-care nurse, said her mother's experience with breast cancer inspired her to participate. She also knows that she is at risk for the disease, as are her daughters and nieces. She hopes that the money raised by the walks will improve detection and treatment to help future breast cancer sufferers.

Last year, Wilkes participated in the event as a volunteer on the medical crew, helping to treat the inevitable blisters. This year, she decided to walk.

To qualify for participation, walkers must raise at least $1,900. Wilkes sent letters to friends and relatives, and wore a pin about the walk to raise the money. She was amazed at the response. "People would just write me checks," she said.

Raising money was only part of the preparation. Wilkes had to increase her strength and endurance. She began training in January, and in February joined a group of about 20 women who were also training for the event.

The walkers were from as far as Baltimore and Silver Spring, and met in Columbia every weekend to walk, increasing their miles each week.

The three-day event took a lot of work and preparation, but it was worth it, Wilkes said. "It was tremendous," she said.

Wilkes plans to be involved in the walk next year, although probably as a volunteer and not a walker, she said.

She notes that her family and friends were supportive of her efforts, and she said she hopes she inspired others to do good works. "That's one of the reasons I did it," Wilkes said. "To keep the kindness going."

Information: www.bethepeo ple.com.

Ice cream social

Nearly 1,200 elementary school pupils in Howard County who went a week without television are being treated to ice cream socials and recognition from local lawmakers.

Sen. Robert H. Kittleman and Dels. Gail H. Bates and Robert L. Flanagan planned two award ceremonies and two ice cream socials to honor those who participated in TV Turnoff Week, which was April 22-28.

The award ceremonies were May 10 at Manor Woods Elementary School and May 13 at Clarksville Elementary School, said Denise Chairs, legislative aide for Bates. At the ceremonies, pupils received certificates signed by the three lawmakers and coupons for free ice cream. More than 450 pupils at Manor Woods and 225 at Clarksville were honored, Chairs said.

The first ice cream social was Thursday at Centennial Lane Elementary School, and the second is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Waverly Woods Elementary School. Participating schoolchildren from surrounding schools are also invited, including the ones who were honored at the awards ceremonies.

The lawmakers will scoop the ice cream and help create sundaes with chocolate sauce and sprinkles, Chairs said.

To participate, children must sign a form saying they went without television for a week.

Chairs, who used to work for former Sen. Christopher J. McCabe, said McCabe used to have ice cream socials for TV-free children, but this is the first year delegates also were involved. Last year, fewer than 1,000 students were honored, she said.

"This year, it got kind of huge," she said.

Zoom into action

Brownie Troop 1716, of Centennial Lane Elementary School, is scheduled to appear on the public television show ZOOM on May 31. Members of the troop will shout "zoom into action!" to introduce a segment of the show about community involvement.

The show is on Maryland Public Television at 5:30 p.m.

Cold cash, warm pizza

Nikki Bergling, a senior at Centennial High School, was surprised with a pizza party and a $1,000 scholarship at school May 9.

Nikki was one of 41 students in the Baltimore region to win a $1,000 scholarship from the Papa John's pizza company. All winners are notified with a surprise pizza party in their classroom.

Papa John's has awarded scholarships to 2,750 students during the past five years.

The Maryland scholarship winners are eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship.

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