The 21st Annual 5K Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness steps off at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The North Fork Breast Health Coalition’s 23rd Anniversary “5K Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness” will take place Sunday, Sept. 26 at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, which sponsors the event. Participants can pre-register on the NFBHC website or register from 7:30-8:45 a.m. that morning. The walk begins at 9 a.m.

The registration fee to participate in the 5K Walk is $25 if paid by Sept. 24 and $30 if paid after that date or on the day of the event. The first 300 entrants will receive a gift bag.

Walkers are encouraged to gather pledges of support from friends, family and colleagues. Top fundraising awards will be given in the following categories: Young Adult (ages 13-19 years old), Adult, Breast Cancer Survivor and Business/Team. Team captains must register team members, send in names and registration fees by September 19, and submit pledge money on the morning of the event.

Before the opening ceremony at 8:45 a.m., registrants can enjoy a continental breakfast that includes coffee and tea with muffins, granola bars and fruit. There will also be an opportunity to buy raffle tickets for dozens of beautiful prizes donated by Tanger Outlet stores.

“The annual 5K walk at Tanger Outlets brings together breast cancer patients, survivors and thrivers, community members, elected officials and leaders in the breast cancer community. Tanger has partnered with us on the walk for the past 22 years, and secures numerous gift baskets and other high-end items for the raffle. Proceeds from the walk help pay for the free services we offer to breast cancer patients as well as our Lend A Helping Hand grant program,” said NFBHC President Melanie McEvoy Zuhoski.

This year’s top sponsors include Gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph M. Duva, People’s United Bank, and Simmons Point Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, who lead the way as Pink Sneaker Sponsors. The Riverhead Central Faculty Association is close behind as a Kilometer Sponsor. Next come Riverhead Building Supply and Bernadette E. Tuthill; Partner at Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin and Quartararo, LLP; both T-Shirt Sponsors. Media sponsors include RiverheadLOCAL and Riverhead News-Review.

Although it is possible to sign up that day, registration in advance is recommended. To obtain more information, call 631-208-8889, e-mail [email protected]or visit where you can register online.

Currently led by Melanie McEvoy Zuhoski, the all-volunteer, nonprofit organization supports local breast-cancer patients with programs such as the Helping Hand grants. Beginning this year, NFBHC also funds Stage IV research at select laboratories. Proceeds from this event will allow the group to continue to provide free services such as gentle yoga, massage therapy, reflexology and support groups to breast-cancer patients and survivors.

For more information about the North Fork Breast Health Coalition and the services that the organization provides to breast-cancer patients and survivors who reside in the North Fork area, visit Ann Cotton-DeGrasse and the late Antonio DeGrasse founded the North Fork Breast Health Coalition with the help of Riverhead Rotary in 1998.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.