Tauranga to be engulfed in pink

By Genevieve Helliwell

A sea of pink will engulf downtown Tauranga tomorrow evening, when the city celebrates the 10th annual ASB Women's Walk for Breast Cancer.

Commonly known as ''the pink walk'', thousands of women all dressed in pink are expected to swarm through the streets of Tauranga in an event that celebrates life as well as early detection and awareness of breast cancer.

Iris Thomas, who has been organising the walk since 2002, said this year's event was set to be a great celebration to mark the 10th anniversary.

''The countdown is on and it's going to be one special event,'' she said.

''The weather is set to be great, it's forecast for sunshine and we're expecting, as usual, the last minute city rush.''

Each year more than 2000 people snake their way 4.5km through central Tauranga, and for the anniversary walk organisers are hoping for even more.

''Ticket sales have been a bit slow but I'm not concerned about it because people tend to just turn up on the day,'' she said.

''It's good to pre-register but people can still enter on the day and they can even do it during the event.''

Participants can buy the $5 entry ticket from Smiths Sports Shoes on the corner of Grey St and Elizabeth St in Tauranga or ASB Bank in Mid-City Mall.

Walkers can also head to Masonic Park on The Strand and enter there. All proceeds go to the Tauranga Breast Cancer Support Service.

The walk will see participants travel up Devonport Rd, along Third Avenue, down Cameron Rd, right into Brown St and down Willow St, past the police station construction site, before finishing on The Strand.

It kicks off at 6pm but live entertainment will begin about 5.15pm, so Ms Thomas advised revellers to get dressed in their costumes and come down after work.

''When it comes to costumes the bigger the better,'' she said.

''The judges are poised with their pencils to find the best costumes and there will be loads of prizes to give away too.''

The walk is traditionally for women only and its purpose is to raise awareness of breast cancer but Ms Thomas said organisers wouldn't turn away anyone.

''I just want to tell everyone to rock up, come along and give it a go. It's about celebrating life and generating awareness for breast cancer and it will be a fun time.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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