A sea of pink typically fills Tanger Outlets one weekend each fall as hundreds of people gather for the annual North Fork Breast Health Coalition 5K walk.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as it has done to so many events this year, has forced a reimagining of the fundraiser.
Instead of one big event, Tanger Outlets and the NFBHC are commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a one week virtual 5K beginning Sunday, Oct. 11.
“This is an important fundraiser,” said Susan Ruffini, president of NFBHC in a statement. “The breast cancer community has been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Vital surgeries have been postponed, treatments have been reduced or in some cases halted, healing services have been canceled and patients can no longer bring their caretaker with them to appointments.”
Registration for the TangerFIT Virtual 5K is underway and will end Oct. 10 at 11:59 p.m. The registration fee is $25, plus a $2.50 sign-up fee. Starting Oct. 3, registered walkers and runners can visit Shopper Services at Tanger I in Riverhead to pick up a race packet that contains a race shirt, a mask and hand sanitizer.
After walkers and runners complete their 5K, they can log their individual results on the registration site. The top finishers in each category will be awarded a medal.
Ms. Ruffini said the organization has felt the effects of the pandemic. The massage therapy and reflexology services have been put on hold. The yoga has been moved online, but is inaccessible to some survivors. The annual Pink Pearl Gala that raises funds for its grants program was also canceled.
“At the same time, we are experiencing an uptick in grant requests and see a need for increased financial aid,” she said.
To find more information on services offered by the NFBHC, click here.