Revlon Run/Walk; sunblock and fun talk
At the starting point, off of Figueroa Street and State Drive, Oscar-winning actress and Revlon Global Brand Ambassador, Halle Berry, counted down to the start of a marathon that would prove to be a force of nature. "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge roared out of loud speakers, cannons blasted red and white confetti, and Eric Stonestreet of ABC'S hit television show, Modern Family, lead the sea of people in a navy-blue Lexus convertible. Wearing jeans and a zip-up black long-sleeve Revlon shirt, Berry stood atop a raised portable stage that arched over the packed street. She danced and waved her way through numerous songs as thousands of participants started their walk/run to fight breast cancer at the 2011 Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Revlon Run/Walk for Women.
Accompanied by a security guard, CBS's How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan also joined in the walk, smiling and laughing as she went.
Balloons, custom signs, printed banners, blown-up photographs of lost ones, and team names were held high by many partakers. Raising them in the air, some cheered with excitement. One sign was made of individual letters held by individual people reading: "We Love You Amber".
Those in attendance consisted of all genres and age groups. Some ran, while others chose to walk. If it wasn't the official red and white "Womentum" shirts given out to those who registered, many wore at least one article of clothing containing the color pink – a color used to represent the fight for breast cancer. Some of the more outrageous outfits consisted of pink wigs, tutus, pom-poms, and boas.
WOMENTUMÔ, a slogan used by the EIF Revlon Run/Walk, is an inspirational force gained over a distance of 5 kilometers applied to the eradication of cancers in women stated on the fundraiser's official website.
Many participants entered the event in teams asking for pledges to help fund new research, support service programs, education, and prevention. Some teams had names like "Team I Love Boobies", wearing black tights with pink beads around their neck. Other teams included: "Walking Divas", "Disney VoluntEARS", "Kiss My Bust", "Teachers for Tatas", "Las Lolas", and "Team Embassy Suites".
Most participants wore a tribute sign that read either, "I'm participating in memory of", I'm participating in support of", or "I'm a cancer survivor". The name(s) of those they ran or walked for was hand-written in ink on the sign.
The event was not timed nor was it a qualifying race. However, there was a timing clock at both the starting and finish line for those interested in their personal times.
At a Coffee Bean on Figueroa Street, where the line for a cup of coffee wrapped around the entire perimeter of the building, a female participant, Sheryl Katchmar of Torrance, CA, couldn't believe the huge turnout.
"It's big! It's crazy," said Katchmar. "This is a very good thing."
The finish line was on the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Refreshments were given out, along with medals to those who finished. A survivor tent was erected with photos of those who survived the fight against breast cancer, along with a concert stage.
Singer/songwriter Michael Bolton performed at the finish line singing some of his classics like his cover of Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Go the Distance".
"You made it! Incredible," said Bolton in between songs. "Thank you so much for showing up, for making the race."
"The money that's been raised year after year has gone to research that have made major breakthroughs that have made the difference between life and death for so many people," said Bolton.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a women's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12 percent).
"This is my fourth year participating," said Pendence Arnold, wearing a pink bandana and running gear. She represented Snow Busters Ski Club in Pasadena.
"We walk together. It's for the love and compassion," said Arnold.