Pink army im­presses

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By ADEN MILES

A WHOP­PING 290 peo­ple dressed in out­ra­geously cre­ative pink out­fits and flocked to Lake Moananui last Fri­day for the an­nual Toko­roa Pink Walk.

Con­sid­ered one of the big­gest turnouts in its South Waikato his­tory, Fri­day’s event helped raise $1100 which will go to­wards lo­cal ini­tia­tives.

South Waikato Pa­cific Is­land Community man­ager Akarere Henry said it was a bril­liant af­ter­noon, which saw peo­ple dress up as but­ter­flies and lu­mi­nous an­gels.

‘‘More im­por­tantly the fam­ily group­ings, or­gan­i­sa­tions of all types band­ing to­gether, which gave an air of great sol­i­dar­ity for our community in rais­ing aware­ness for breast can­cer. In speak­ing with var­i­ous peo­ple throughout the evening some were there be­cause they had lost a love one and wanted to re­mem­ber them, some were there as sur­vivors, some were there be­cause they knew of some­one who had suc­cumbed to this ill­ness and some were there to sup­port the great community spirit that is ever present in this community,’’ Mrs Henry said.

Mrs Henry said sev­eral hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ences were shared throughout the night.

‘‘What is ev­i­dent is the con­tin­ued growth that is hap­pen­ing year af­ter year as we all share in this com­mon theme of community spirit what­ever the cause,’’ she said.

Two of those per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences came from Tina Brown and Valda Ta­here.

‘‘I sup­port the walk ev­ery year and breast can­cer for the month of Oc­to­ber more be­cause of my mum, Lor­raine Eley, who has been mar­ried to my dad for 55 years this year, who lives in Perth, and had breast can­cer 18 months ago,’’ Toko­roa mother Tina Brown said.

‘‘Be­cause of her strong whanau love and sup­port, my mum re­ceived her treat­ment and chemo­ther­apy. She ap­pre­ci­ates ev­ery morn­ing she wakes up . . .’’ Valda Ta­here said: ‘‘ My best friend in Welling­ton has breast can­cer. I walk for her to­day. I pray ev­ery­day for her good health and re­cov­ery. To­day I get to do that with my community.’

See more pho­tos on pages 10 and 11.

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