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Gundersen's Steppin' Out in Pink breaks records

Gundersen's La Crosse Campus was a packed with pink Saturday, Sept. 9, as a record-breaking 6,800 people participated in Gundersen Medical Foundation's 12th annual Steppin' Out in Pink.

"It was an amazing day. Thanks to the incredible support of our community, we raised a record $450,000 for local breast cancer research and awareness, with pledges still coming in," comments Debbie Kroner, associate director of Development – Special Events, Gundersen Medical Foundation.

Record-breaking numbers

  • 479 breast cancer survivors
  • 6,800 participants
  • 2,066 first-time participants
  • 1,000 volunteers
  • $450,000 raised in 2017
  • $4.8 million raised since inception

Steppin' Out in Pink not only topped its 2013 participation record of 6,700 but also celebrated with 479 breast cancer survivors—129 more survivors than in any of its previous 11 years and 316 more survivors than its inaugural year.

"The makeup of participants has evolved since Steppin' Out in Pink began in 2006. There are a lot of families and a lot more breast cancer survivors. This year, in particular, we had 2,066 first-time participants, which is phenomenal. Having two walking routes, including the new, shorter 2.5-mile route, was also a huge success," says Debbie.

Since its inception in 2006, Steppin' Out in Pink has brought in nearly $4.8 million to fund breast cancer research initiatives at Gundersen Medical Foundation; provide assistance to breast cancer patients in need; and lend support to the services of the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders and Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care.

A huge thank you to the 1,000 volunteers this year who gave so generously of their time and support, and to our 100-plus community sponsors.

"In our twelfth year, I'm beyond proud of the progress we've made for local breast cancer research and the number of lives touched. Every walker, sponsor, volunteer and supporter helps bring us closer to a cure. We appreciate each and every one of you," says Debbie.

Plenty of photos

If you had a team photo taken at Steppin' Out in Pink, you can find them on our Facebook page. The photos are grouped into albums by the time they were taken:

Raffle winners

Thank you, also, to everyone who supported Steppin' Out in Pink through the "Under the Pink Top" vendors and raffles. More than $4,700 was raised through raffles. Congratulations to the winners:

  • Packers tickets – Steve Brown, Onalaska
  • Pinwheel quilt – Melinda Orebaugh, Holmen
  • Diamond strip quilt – Rhonda Bebee, Brownsville
  • Pink limousine ride – Todd Grapes, La Crosse

Gundersen Medical Foundation continues to accept donations for Steppin' Out in Pink. If you have questions, please (608) 775-6600.

Proceeds from Steppin' Out in Pink will continue to:

  • Fund breast cancer research initiatives at Gundersen Medical Foundation, including laboratory and outcomes-based research
  • Provide life-saving mammograms for underinsured and uninsured women in our community
  • Help pay for basic needs of cancer patients during treatment, including food, transportation and lodging expenses
  • Fund numerous breast cancer awareness programs, such as Living in Pink Support Group and our Survivorship Clinic
  • Educate Cancer Center staff on cutting-edge technology and treatments
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1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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