Rotorua residents are being encouraged to get creative and pretty in pink for an annual fundraiser with a new twist.
The Rotorua Breast Cancer Trust Pink Walk will be a virtual event for the first time due to the impact of Covid-19.
Rotorua Pink Walk event manager Layla Robinson said rather than gathering at the Rotorua lakefront for a few hours in the evening, participants would create a sea of pink all over Rotorua throughout the day on Wednesday, October 20.
"We encourage people to wear pink to their workplaces, schools and around home, and challenge them to go for a walk that is on average 3km some time during the day - the regular Pink Walk is 3.4km.
"Yes, a treadmill counts, as long as they're dressed in pink!"
There will be roving Pink Judges around the city throughout the day as well, with spot prizes for registered people in pink.
Businesses, schools and organisations can register too, and enter the Paint the Town Pink category where they decorate their office, shop, classroom and themselves pink on October 20.
The Pink Judges will pay them a visit, take a photo of their entry, and take it back to the trustees for voting.
"We anticipate high engagement online, and fun-filled workplaces, homes and schools as people let their hair down a bit – or better yet, put a pink wig on," Robinson said.
"The Pink Walk as we know it is an alert level 1 event as it brings a large amount of people together in one place in a very social setting.
"The alert level 2 restrictions make it impossible to hold the walk in its traditional form.
"Plus, with the lingering threat of Covid-19, the trust didn't want to put the people we support at risk of contracting serious illness should they be exposed during the walk."
She said the big difference between the Rotorua Pink Walk and other walks of its kind around the country, was that the funds raised would stay here in Rotorua.
"The trust directly support people with breast cancer and their families with anything from support groups, to petrol vouchers to get to appointments.
Rotorua's Chrissie Aratema was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017.
She said she had been due for a mammogram and when the results came back that a lump was actually cancer, she was ready to get done whatever had to be done.
Within two weeks of diagnosis, she had surgery and breast reconstruction. She also had chemotherapy for a couple of months.
Aratema said the chemotherapy was the worst part of her recovery journey, due to how sick it made her feel.
Her advice to other women is to always go when their mammograms are due and if they find any lumps always get them checked out.
"I got in early. Mine was an aggressive type at grade 3 but because I got onto it straight away I think that helped."
Aratema had taken part in Rotorua's Pink Walks before and said it was a brilliant event.
"I think anything for the Cancer Society and all those different trusts is great. The amount of support I got going through my journey was amazing."
She said support had included transport vouchers, coffee groups and programmes which helped you with make-up and getting confidence since you lost your hair and eyebrows with chemotherapy.
Robinson said while funds were absolutely necessary for the trust to support the community, the most important thing about the Pink Walk was that it created awareness for breast cancer.
Registration is essentially a donation to the trust, but gives people the chance to win prizes. Registration opens on Friday, October 1, 9.30am on the website, www.rbct.co.nz.
The cost is $2 for children 15 and under, $5 for individuals and $50 for each business, organisation or school that enters Paint the Town Pink.