Y’all! I thought we were saving the Race theme for this year to announce at our annual press conference. Then, I saw it on Facebook! So, I wanted to make MY official announcement here. Because here, I can explain how I described my feelings about the race. And how Thoma Thoma turned those into our THEME. Here you go . . .
Chairing the Pasta Party for so many years, I was one of few on the Race Committee who got to experience the race like everyone else. I didn’t “work” that morning. I came downtown with my family and friends, just like all of you. And I’ve always found the experience intensely moving. Whether you are a survivor, or have no family history of breast cancer, being downtown is powerful. It is 40,000 people (many of whom are women) coming together in support. When you sign up, you think you are supporting a charity. A good cause. But on Race morning, you are supporting people. You are there with the survivors and their families. They are easy to pick out, in their pink shirts. Some of them wear signs saying they are 20 year survivors, and some are bald and you know they are in the midst of their fight. And you see the people who are fighting along side them. They hold her hand, or their group dresses the same. They wear a shirt with her name, or they just walk alongside her. You know she isn’t fighting alone. And you hope that, God forbid you find yourself in her shoes, you will also have people fighting with you.
The energy generated surrounding this event is palpable. Anyone exposed to it cannot help but BE MOVED. MOVE. speaks to the action and foresight that will inspire the work that remains to be done. In 20 years, Arkansas has come a long way. But there is much work to be done. And we need to keep moving, keep working, and keep fighting.
Ashley Hurst – Race Chair 2014