Twenty Faces of Komen Columbus: Week 9

Since this May 19, 2012 will be the 20th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, for the next 20 weeks we’re going to spotlight 20 individuals who have participated in the Race throughout the years. They come from all walks of life and may be survivors, volunteers, grantees, sponsors or advocates, but they’re all committed to the fight against breast cancer.

Week 9: The One Who Proudly Leads the Charge
Guest post by Bethany Bebech

Mayor Coleman at the 2009 Race for the Cure.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has been attending the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure for so many years, he can’t recall the first year. It was sometime in the 1990s, when he was serving as a Columbus City Council member.

He has attended every year since then. He says, “Breast cancer affects so many women and their families around Columbus, Ohio, the nation and the world. Fighting breast cancer is a cause that should unite us all.” Mayor Coleman strongly encourages others to become involved with and support Komen Columbus because it leads to more resources raised to fight breast cancer.

The Mayor supporting the Race in his pink wig in 2010.

Throughout the years, Mayor Coleman has noticed a change in the Race and in its participants. “I’ve noticed an increasing sense of fun and whimsy,” he said. He’s taken part in some of the fun, even donning a pink wig at the event. Columbus has been able to take something serious, like fighting breast cancer, and make it into a celebration to honor those who have fought the disease. This sense of fun seems to attract more people to the Race every year.

This year, Mayor Coleman looks forward to witnessing the unity that the Race for the Cure brings with it. It always brings people of different races, economic backgrounds and political backgrounds from Central and Southeastern Ohio together for a common cause – raising money and awareness for breast cancer.

Helping to kick off the Race in 2011.

The Columbus Race for the Cure now has the second largest number of participants (more than 50,000) in the country. Mayor Coleman says that the long, proud history of Columbus as a community of compassion and activism is the greatest reason for this.

He says, “In Columbus we do not turn away our fellow residents who are in need. You can see it in how we treat the homeless, how we treat the hungry, how we treat those dealing with addictions, how we treat those whose neighborhoods are in disrepair. We’ve always believed we are our sisters’ keeper and our brothers’ keeper.”

Join Mayor Coleman at this year’s Race for the Cure on May 19th by registering here. Maybe he’ll even be sporting a pink wig again!