Womens 5K Classic Honored at Annual Dinner by Starlight
St. Luke's Allentown Campus Honors the Women's 5K Classic at Annual Dinner by Starlight Fundraiser
Nearly 80 Women Show Support and Thanks in a Pink “Hope” Parade
(l to r) Laurie Flynn, Rosie Hulbert, Annmarie Werley,
Loretta Dodson, Sara Glassman, Wendy Body, Ingrid
Gerber, Sally Gilotti, Sue Connolly, Jane George
Allentown, PA (11/20/2013) – A blur of pink balloons, glow sticks and smiling faces contributed to a tear-filled, memorable evening for members of the Women's 5K Classic, who were recognized at this year's Dinner by Starlight fundraiser for St. Luke's Allentown Campus. A parade of nearly 80 women – survivors, caretakers, family members - all dressed in pink, turned out to celebrate the group's accomplishments and thank the members for their contributions.
For the last twelve years, St. Luke's Allentown Campus has been recognizing and honoring individuals who make a lasting impact on the community. Past Honorees include Linny Fowler, Elmer Gates, Governor Ed Rendell and State Representative Jennifer Mann to name a few. This year, St. Luke's Allentown Campus recognized the Women's 5K Classic for their unique contribution to the community through their annual fundraising 5K event at the Lehigh Parkway which draws close to 4,000 participants, all women, each year.
Raising the Bar for Women's Fitness
The Women's 5K Classic is an all-volunteer organization that has raised the bar for women's fitness in the Lehigh Valley and raised over $2 million dollars in the event's 21 year history. The monies raised by the group are donated to local health care organizations in the Lehigh Valley and used for cancer research and education.
“Under the leadership of Wendy Body, the Women's 5K Classic has grown into one of the largest all-female events in the nation,” said Frank Ford, President of St. Luke's Allentown Campus. “These women have made considerable contributions to the health and well-being of our community. Funds from the 5K Classic have allowed St. Luke's to purchase state-of-the-art technology, implement cancer support programs, create a Cancer Social Work Fund to assist women going through treatments and recently, the Women's 5K installed walking and fitness paths at the St. Luke's Anderson Campus.” He added, “Dinner by Starlight recognizes these dynamic women for this and so much more.”
Since its inception, Dinner by Starlight has raised more than $825,000 to support programs and services of St. Luke's Allentown Campus. The monies raised from this year's event will help purchase new technology for the Allentown Campus operating room, called Faxitron, which will allow surgeons to more quickly test biopsied tissue samples during a procedure. This helps to reduce the need for re-excision of the tested area and lessens the time a patient is under anesthesia.
More than 50 corporate sponsors supported the sold-out event, which included a silent auction with approximately 60 items, a sit-down dinner and a formal program to recognize St. Luke's Honorary and Shining Stars.
First Time the Honorary Star Award Given to a Non-Profit Organization
This year marks the first time that the Honorary Star award is given to a non-profit organization. “The Women's 5K Classic is a part of the St. Luke's family. We have a great partnership with the 5K. We began hosting the Women's Expo in 2012 at St. Luke's West End Medical Center and for the past several years St. Luke's has sponsored the largest team participating in the 5K event,” said Frank Ford. “We believe in the Women's 5K Classic and its mission to promote fitness for all women, educate women about early detection as well as its commitment to research in an effort to discover best treatment options and ultimately a cure.”
Four additional awards were given in honor of volunteers Rachel O'Brien of Cups for a Cure, John Lahutsky of Boy Scouts of America, Freda Horne of Slatedale Fire Company and Alvaro Diaz of the Fe Foundation of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Director, Media Relations
St. Luke's University Health Network