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Cancer benefit walk at Watt Farms will take local focus

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2016 at 10:23 am

Local organization now beneficiary instead of American Cancer Society

File photos by Tom Rivers The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Watt Farms drew big crowds to the farm on Route 98 for a walk through the orchard. This photo is at the beginning of the walk in October 2013.

File photos by Tom Rivers
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Watt Farms drew big crowds to the farm on Route 98 for a walk through the orchard. This photo is at the beginning of the walk in October 2013.

ALBION – In 11 years, a breast cancer awareness and benefit walk at Watt Farms raised $350,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The event is changing its focus. The beneficiary will now be Cancer Services of Genesee and Orleans, a group based in Batavia that serves people battling all types of cancers. That organization pushes to provide mammograms, colonoscopies and other services to people underinsured or without insurance.

That mission is more in line with Karen Watt’s focus. She wants more help for local residents and their families facing the cancer health crisis.

Watt, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2005, also wanted to expand the walk’s mission to assist people fighting all types of cancer.

The walk will shift from a pink theme for breast cancer to a purple color to represent all cancers during the event at Watt Farms on Oct. 29. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the walk starting at 10 a.m.

“We wanted to make it more local and to step up preventive services,” Watt said.

Kevin Dann and other Holley firefighters have been regular participants in the walk at Watt farms.

Kevin Dann and other Holley firefighters have been regular participants in the walk at Watt Farms. They are pictured last October.

She wanted to partner with an organization that serves Orleans and Genesee counties because she said many of the participants on the walk have been from outside Orleans in Genesee County.

Watt is chairman of the board of directors for Oak Orchard Health, which has healthcare sites in Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport, Warsaw and Hornell, as well as a mobile dental unit.

Oak Orchard is a sponsor of the Oct. 29 walk, and so is Orleans Community Health, which runs Medina Memorial Hospital, the Urgent Care site in Albion, Dialysis Centers in Batavia and Medina, and other health services in Orleans County.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk was a big draw to Watt Farms, sometimes with crowds of nearly 1,000 people.

Watt isn’t sure what to expect on Oct. 29. She hopes the community will continue to support and participate in the event.

For more on the walk, including registration information, click here.

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