Family Fun Run Raises Money/Awareness for Breast Cancer Programs

The 13th Annual Family 5K Fun Run benefiting the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation will be held Saturday, April 23, at Tymor Park in Union Vale. (photo of breast cancer survivor Lynne Kopac and supporters attached)
“All are welcome to run for time or run for the first time!” said Event organizer and chairman Lori Decker, local community activist, athletic trainer and co-owner of Forza Fitness in Millbrook.
“This event which I started for my clients has blossomed into a wonderful event for beginners, seasoned runners running to qualify for bigger races, and kids. Everyone should feel comfortable running and welcoming Spring on April 23, at beautiful Tymor Park!” she said.
Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood added: “The Family Fun Run has raised over $200,000 for Miles of Hope programs since its inception 13 years ago. We are indebted to Lori Decker who has run this event from the beginning for all of her hard work and enthusiasm. She can convince anyone to run! And as a marathon runner herself, she knows the benefits of staying in shape to reduce cancer risk.”
Miles of Hope, a 501-c-3, public charity, funds support services for people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley.
“We are the only local breast cancer foundation funding programs in the 8 counties: scholarships for high school seniors whose lives have been affected by breast cancer; complementary medicine programs at area hospitals; a Peer to Peer hotline with trained survivors ready to answer questions; and a fund for financial emergencies for people in treatment for breast cancer,” explained Miles of Hope co-Founder Cathy Varunok.
The Family Fun Run honors two Hudson Valley women and breast cancer survivors: Marie Cole and Barbara Bennett. For more information on them:
Email Information:
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Miles of Hope Funds Local Programs

The Miles of Hope Breast Cancer announced today the awarding of grants to area non-profit organizations.
“Miles of Hope funds support services, education and outreach to people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley,” explained Executive Director, Pari Forood. “Aside from our pillar programs which are funded annually, we accept grant applications from local organizations for worthy and appropriate programs.”
Chairman of the Miles of Hope Board of Directors, Lisa Arnoff, added: “We receive many requests to fund excellent programs here in our Hudson Valley benefiting people affected by breast cancer. It is essential that we fund raise with all of our events so that we can meet this need and help as many people as possible.”
Cathy Varunok, Co-Founder of Miles of Hope, explained that in the past 13 years, Miles of Hope has given away over $1.5 million dollars. “Our largest grant expenditure is the Medical Gap Care Fund which helps people in treatment for breast cancer with a financial emergency. We work with 6 social service agencies in 8 counties to make sure that we help anyone in financial distress because of their breast cancer diagnosis.”
The 4 grants awarded this week:
  • A $10,000 grant to Health Quest Systems to help purchase a tomosynthesis machine for advanced 3-D imaging for Vassar Brothers Medical Center
  • A $10,000 grant to Support Connections for the Peer to Peer Hotline manned by trained breast cancer survivors
  • A $2,500 grant to Tennis for Life which offers tennis lessons, organized play, peer networking groups and professionally-facilitated discussion groups to unite and assist breast cancer survivors in their recovery
  • A $1,500 grant to The Women of Faith Health & Wellness Ministry to conduct and support seminars including materials for information and distribution, food, and travel to various destinations.

According to the individual grant applications:

Vassar Brothers Medical Center has plans to purchase two additional state-of-the-art, 3-Dimensional (3D) digital mammography units referred to as “tomosynthesis,” a new technology combining with standard 2D mammography to produce superior images of the breast with much less radiation than standard digital mammography. The combination of the 3D and 2D images results in less time for the patient under compression, greater patient comfort, a lower radiation dose, and exceptional images.”

Support Connections stated: “Trained Counselors answer questions, provide in depth counseling & support, make additional service referrals, help navigate confusing medical systems, listen as long as necessary, and reach out to let women know we are always here. From 1/1/15-11/30/15 (11 months) counselors had 1,658 individual service contacts with clients affected by breast cancer. 685 were in-depth one-on-one counseling sessions. The remaining contacts provided general support, resource information, referrals, program & support group information, follow up calls.”

Tennis for Life support groups meet weekly at Match Point Tennis Club, in Orangeburg, NY (Rockland County) and “provides complimentary tennis lessons and court time for breast cancer survivors, an environment for survivors to share their experiences and feelings in a relaxed social atmosphere and monthly volunteer guest speakers who provide information on relevant health and wellness issues.

The Women of Faith Health & Wellness Ministry’s mission is “to provide community outreach on the issue of breast cancer education to underserved and minority populations.” The grant from Miles of Hope will allow them “to travel to churches within our community to inform women and men of all cultures of the effects of breast cancer, ways to decrease the effects, and the importance of self breast examinations and mammograms.”

“In Dutchess County, breast cancer ranks the highest in incidence among all cancers, at 141.4 per 100,000,” said Miles of Hope Co-Founder, Dana Effron. “We are helping this population with vital programs and support.”

Hannaford Supports Local Breast Cancer Fund

Hannaford Supermarkets has chosen the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation as the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of reusable supermarket bags. The bags, pictured in the photo below and attached are for sale at every Hannaford market with $1.00 of the $2.00 purchase price designated for Miles of Hope.
“Hannafords and Miles of Hope have been great supportive partners since we were founded almost 13 years ago,” explained Miles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood. “They have donated sports drinks, water, energy bars and bags to many Miles of Hope events throughout our history and we are indebted to them for their community spirit.”
Joyce Boss, Manager of Customer Service (845-473-0454) said that Hannaford’s customers overwhelmingly chose Miles of Hope as the local charity to support. “Our customers and our staff all know Miles of Hope and the vital service they perform in our community. We are honored to be helping such a great organization.”
Miles of Hope is a 501-c-3, public charity with a mission to fund support services for people affected by breast cancer within the 8 counties of the Hudson Valley, NY.
“All money raised here in our community stays here, helping people who need us,” added Ms. Forood.

March Madness Benefits Breast Cancer

March Madness is coming to Poughkeepsie with the The 11th Annual Hoops for Hope Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament benefiting the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at the McCann Recreation Center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

Hoops for Hope is a 3 on 3 charity basketball tournament with a mission to raise funds for the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation. There are competitive and non-competitive divisions. (photo)

“The women participating in this tournament range from former UCONN all-stars to moms inspired by their athletic children, to those playing in support of a friend or loved one,” explained Pari Forood, Executive Director of Miles of Hope. “It is a fun day with everyone benefiting from exercise in the bleak mid-winter. I urge any and all women who are bored with the treadmill at the gym to come play basketball with us and register a team on line at”
Miles of Hope Foundation Co-Founder Cathy Varunok said: “All of the sports competitions that we sponsor are designed to be a friendly message emphasizing the benefits of exercise to all women. The Family Fun 5K Run on April 23, Goals for Hope Women’s Soccer Tournament in July, Hits for Hope Women’s Softball Tournament in October, and this basketball tournament are not about winning or losing but about participating and recognizing that we can be proactive about our health.”
“Minimum team size at Hoops is 3 players and registration is only $200 which covers all fees and represents a donation to Miles of Hope. Registration covers up to 6 players; the fee for additional players is $25 each and registration ends March 11,” explained Tournament Committee member Cathy Weir.
Shannon Leddy, whose mother is a 33 year cancer survivor and was honored at Hoops for Hope 2009, has been a volunteer for Miles of Hope for 11 years: “Joining the Hoops Committee back in 2008 seemed a natural fit because I was a basketball player in high school and loved the idea of an athletic tournament that promoted teamwork, activity and good health while also honoring amazing women.”
Each year Hoops for Hope is dedicated to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of our event. 2016 Hoops for Hope Honoree is Kate Briskey from Hyde Park, NY. She graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes High School-where she played basketball- and then Marist College with a CIS degree. Kate married her husband of 33 years, Ken (her high school sweetheart) and raised their four children, Ben, Dan, Emily, and Elizabeth, as a stay-at-home mom also in Hyde Park. Kate and Ken now have two grandchildren, Lena and Felix, and one on the way!

In May 2015, two months after finding a lump in her breast, Kate was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. This was less than two weeks after she lost her beloved mom, Jane Eckelman, to breast cancer. Her mom had been diagnosed just four months prior.

An athlete and self-described “caregiver,” Kate loves to entertain and do for others, as well as spend time with her family and grandkids. She picked up a basketball 20 years after graduating from Lourdes and played in the Casperkill Women’s League, which led to her participation in the Hoops for Hope Tournament for the past many years. Her brother has also participated all these years as a referee!

Kate says she was fortunate to find her lump early making her a shining example of the importance of self-examination and early detection. Still, given her active lifestyle and age, she never thought she would get cancer. “I have always eaten well, exercised and taken care of my health. Anyone can get cancer. It behooves us to do all we can to be healthy, but we also can’t live in fear of cancer or illness.”

For more information: or contact Tournament Director, Jen Oppenheim at  
The Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation is a 501-c-3 non-profit public charity with a mission to fund support services for people affected by breast cancer within the Hudson Valley, NY.

Miles of Hope and PANDORA

PMC210314_P-CRYSTALRUN_WEBMiles of Hope Executive Director, Pari Forood, will be at the Pandora Jewelry location on Saturday, January 16th at the Galleria at Crystal Run. 10% of all sales will be donated to Miles of Hope! Snack on sweet treats and enter to win a $250 shopping spree! See you there!