Vermillion ‘in the pink’ Sunday

An ominous fog came over Vermillion Sunday morning before the third annual South Dakota Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure.

However, Mother Nature wasn't going to stand in the way of this cause. Just before the scheduled start of the 5K race, the fog lifted, providing a sunny and warm atmosphere for the participants.

It would have taken much more than fog, however, to stop the hundreds of people who traveled to Vermillion Sunday to walk or run to raise money for patient support and research to hopefully one day cure breast cancer.

"It helps raise money for a good cause. Why let something like the fog get in the way?" said Tyler Malmberg, who walked the course with his mother, Bonnie Bryde, and two sisters. "It feels cool to be involved and walk for a good cause."

Bryde's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last November.

"This brings everyone together, and it brings a positive aspect to it to help unite us," Bryde said with a smile. "I think the fog before the race added to it, and I was surprised with how many people that showed up."

She added that her mom is doing well and is responding to the treatments she has received.

Three years ago, Colette Abbott and her crew helped bring the Race For The Cure to Vermillion. Abbott was only expecting around 500 people the first year, but 2,000 registered.

Last year, 2,200 people registered for the event, and unofficial reports had almost 3,000 people registered for this year's event.

"We thought there weren't going to be as many because of the weather," said Colleen VanLoh, Abbott's twin sister. "Unofficially, I think there were 100 more people registered online before (Sunday) morning."

"Each year, you look around and it seems like there are more and more people," she added. "You see more groups and the T-shirts they make, and it's pretty cool."

Registration for the Race For The Cure was $25 with participants able to give more in donations. Seventy-five percent of the money raised for the event stays in South Dakota for breast cancer treatment and research.

Last year's Komen event raised $200,000.

Nicole Mockler lead the team named "Save The Hoots," which raised $500 for the event.

"Most of the money stays in South Dakota, and every dollar helps," she said.

This was the first year "Save The Hoots" participated in the Race For The Cure.

No one on Mockler's team has had breast cancer, or has had a family member affected by it, but everyone walked to help those whose lives have been touched by the disease.

"We walked to support awareness and it's a great cause," she said. "It gets emotional to be with family and friends during this, and you meet some great people throughout the day. We plan to do it again next year, and hopefully have a bigger team."

The Race For The Cure was emotional for a lot of people. Breast cancer survivors could easily be pointed out, as they were given blue shirts to wear instead of the regular white and pink shirts.

"I haven't had anyone in my family affected by breast cancer, but I know a lot of people who have survived, and others who haven't," VanLoh said. "That's who you do it for. When you are out there, that's who is on your heart."

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