Colourful event helps a good cause

By Amy McGillivray


A grey start to the day didn't stop people from pulling out their pink apparel and heading along to the Oceanblue Beach Walk.


Pink wigs, pink clothes and pink fairy wings brightened up Papamoa beach even before the sun came out just as the walk began yesterday.

Jethro LeRoy searched through his wardrobe to pull together his all pink Flintstones-style outfit, which included pink arm warmers, a pink hula skirt and a bone in his pink wig.

The Papamoa resident and OceanBlue Gym member said it was the first time he had participated although his wife had taken part in previous years.

"It was good. It's just good to get out of the house on a Sunday morning," he said.

The morning might have been full of fun and laughter but there was a more serious side to it.

"I did it just because my wife's mum has breast cancer," he said.

Maria Fitzsimmons-Baker even topped off her pink outfit with a pink tinsel wig. She and friend Hineuru Teira took part in the walk to get behind those who have dealt with the reality of cancer.

"We just wanted to come and support those women who have had breast cancer and survived it. I had a mother who passed away from it," Ms Fitzsimmons-Baker said. "It's a real family event."

She said raising awareness of breast cancer was also important to her.

"Particularly for Maori women because we have such a high rate."

Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga ran the 2- and 4km walks to raise money and awareness for the cause.

Service chairwoman Fiona McAllister said she was pleased with the 200 to 300 people who turned out for the event, despite the numbers being slightly down on last year.

"We're happy. It's lovely. Everyone made an effort to get pinked up. There are lots of families which is what it is all about," she said.

Oceanblue Health Club sponsored the event and held a silent auction to raise funds for the support service.

All the money raised would go to support local women with breast cancer, Ms McAllister said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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