Paint downtown pink

HANFORD — Adventist Health Breast Care Center and Main Street Hanford are partnering again for the annual Paint Downtown Pink event Thursday.

The event, held during Thursday Night Market Place, aims to raise breast cancer awareness and promote physical activity and healthy eating. Participants will walk 2,500 steps, about a mile and a half, around the Market Place and will be eligible to win various prizes and fitness items.

“This is a great way to get the community involved in raising awareness of breast cancer,” said Adventist Health Public Relations Coordinator Malissa Rose.

Participants must sign up at the Adventist Health booth on Irwin Street. Afterward, they will receive pink pedometers to track their movement. After completing the walk, their pedometer will be checked and, if all the steps are completed, they will receive a free gift and be entered into a drawing for larger prizes.

“Anyone going to Thursday Night Market Place is welcome to participate,” Rose said.

Many other booths at Thursday Night Market Place are also getting in on the action. They will be decorated in pink, with prizes being handed out to the top three booths.

The Adventist Health booth will also have a Facebook photo booth with wacky pink props for walk participants. Photos from the booth will be posted on the Adventist Health Central Valley Network page the following day.

Participants are urged to dress in pink. Last year, the event drew more than 300 people.

Besides breast cancer awareness, the event also aims to remind the community about the services that the Adventist Health Breast Care Center provides. Opened in August 2011, the nearly 2,800-square-foot center, located on the second floor of the Hanford Medical Pavilion, offers digital mammography, 3D ultrasound, bone densitometry, stereotactic breast biopsies and other services.

“We want to let people know about the center,” Rose said. “Some county residents don’t realize it’s here and think they have to travel to Fresno to get the same kinds of services they provide.”

Center Director Amy Marks said people are starting to become more aware of the center, but that more can still be done to get the word out.

“The event is a great way for us to interact with the community and get information about the center out,” Marks said. “Sometimes I’ll meet people out in the community that need breast care and we can assist them later on with help at the center.”

Marks said she’s been happy with the experience and that she looks forward to meeting new people. She hopes she will be able to help make people aware of the importance of breast health and general physical health.

“We’re trying to get the community involved in supporting other people in the community,” she said. “We have to work together to make sure people are getting the appropriate care they need.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2429 or by email at jluiz@hanfordsentinel.com.

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