The race went on.
Despite a lower turnout due to COVID-19, the Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation (T.E.A.L.) held its annual walk/run on Sept. 12.
“We still had people that engaged with us and it was a powerful event for those that did participate remotely,” said T.E.A.L. CEO and co-founder Pamela Esposito-Amery. “That in itself is a success where we reached a lot of people, but our program and fundraising is still in jeopardy because of COVID-19 our income is not where it should be. We still really need the support of the community to keep us going.”
According to Esposito-Amery, T.E.A.L. only raised about a quarter of its goal and had less than half the usual number of participants. Still, the turnout was strong, considering the circumstances.
“We still were pleasantly surprised and remained optimistic on how the event would be because we’ve been doing it for 12 years, but it was like doing a brand new event because it was so different,” she said. “The participation was still a success in our eyes but fundraising and the normal income from this event was significantly low. It’s still a difficult time but we are grateful and blessed for the support we did have.”
The kickoff included actor Steven Buscemi and ABC7 reporter Stacey Sager, who both helped publicize the event.
“Being #BRCA means cancer and family are intertwined for me,” wrote Sager, who wore a T.E.A.L. T-shirt. “But we can fight it!! My husband and I ran the virtual 5k today to help raise money, so our girls will hopefully get more answers and screenings in their lifetime than I have.”
Buscemi said the organization is “very near and dear to my heart. Even though we can’t all be together this year, we can virtually support each other every step of the way.”
Despite the smaller scale, the event’s reach was larger, said Esposito-Amery.
“It actually wound up being around the country,” she said. “It expanded quite a lot. We have people in different cities and states [participating].”
People can still donate and participate in the virtual walk until Sunday, Sept. 20. For more information, visit https://tealwalk.org.