Being unable to attend the annual Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon this year made me really sad but fortunately I was able to give my passes to 3 lucky ladies who had an amazing time. A special thank you to Katlego for accommodating all 6 of my guys (3 were my interns) and ensured that they had an amazing day. A whopping 29000 people showed up! Yes 29000 human beings and a few dogs as they were allowed but obviously not included in the total attendees. I can’t possibly imagine what went down and Katlego was kind enough to send me the press release so here goes:
Thousands Help Raise Breast Cancer Awareness at the 11th Annual Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon
29 000 participants walked for a purpose as they took part in the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon breast cancer awareness event on Sunday, 23 October at Marks Parkin Johannesburg. Amongst the participants were veteran actress Lillian Dube, TV personality and starlet Natasha Thahane. Following a 5km or 7.9km scenic walk, participants were treated to memorable live performances from local acts Tribute Mboweni, Rhythm Sessions and Blacque Soul.
In addition to the live performances, there were numerous stalls and other activities participants could visit before settling down to enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends after their walk. This included food stalls a well as stalls by NGOs such as the Breast Health Foundation, Look Good… Feel Better and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) where participants could buy items to raise funds for these organisations or learn more about the causes they support both of which affect women in South Africa. Avon Justine has raised more than R27 million in aid of these cause and these organisations since 2001.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer amongst white and Asian women and the second most common cancer among black and coloured women in South Africa while violence against women affects one in every 3 women. Education and awareness is therefore critical in tackling these causes. But that doesn’t mean the approach has to be a bland. At the iThemba Walkathon, participants were given the opportunity to participate in the #PoutForAPurpose world record attempt. The initiative aims to get as many South Africans participating in the fun and still hugely popular act of pouting while donning their favourite shade of Avon lipstick.
“This is always an emotion filled event, said Vicky Saunders-Flaherty, Avon Justine Communications & Events Manager. “From excitement and joy to sadness in memory of survivors and again fun during the live performances, participants are taken on a journey during this event and we hope they take this with them into their everyday lives and continue to generate awareness of breast cancer because early detection really does saves lives”.