High Country Breast Cancer Foundation and Zeta Tau Alpha educate the High Country about breast cancer

Michael Lillywhite

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In light of breast cancer awareness month, the High Country community has gathered to bring awareness to the cause. The High Country Breast Cancer Foundation is offering hope to cancer-stricken families through financial aid and education.

On Oct. 26, HCBCF will host its third annual High Country Walk/Run for Breast Cancer.

HCBCF is a volunteer organization, and 100% of the funds raised by the organization remain in the community.

Irene Sawyer, founder of HCBCF and breast cancer survivor, said she was inspired by the support she received from her community during her journey with breast cancer. This motivated her to bring the businesses involved in supporting breast cancer awareness in the High Country together “under one umbrella,” Sawyer said.

“It’s a fun event and a really great cause,” said Olivia Kinser, director of philanthropy and service for Zeta Tau Alpha, whose national philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness. 

The money raised from the 5K is given to men and women fighting breast cancer in the High Country. 

Participants of the 5K will meet at the American Legion in Blowing Rock.

Even closer to home, ZTA is making strides to promote breast cancer awareness on campus.

ZTA’s philanthropy will “recognize survivors as well as educate people about breast cancer,” Kinser said.

To kick off “Think Pink Week,” the first week of October, ZTA held “Pie a Tau,” where students could pay to pie members of ZTA, Alpha Tau Omega and Delta Tau Delta. All of ZTA’s profits went toward their initiative to recognize survivors as well as educate people about breast cancer.

ZTA also hosted Joy Wade, who travels the country to educate people on what’s normal and what’s not when checking yourself for breast cancer, on Oct. 3. 

“She does interactive workshops with breast models and a PowerPoint to make sure women are knowledgeable about their breast health,” Kinser said.