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17th Annual Walk Hosted by BAPS Charities

By Vinit Patel

Urmila Patel is 55 years old. Everyone that meets her immediately smiles upon seeing her beaming face. This year, Mrs. Patel decided to fundraise for a cause close to her heart: finding a cure for breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a nationally recognized organization that is dear to Mrs. Patel’s cause. In December of last year, Mrs. Patel was diagnosed with Stage One breast cancer. Fortunately, after two rounds of surgery, her biopsy report stated she was negative and at low risk of relapse. Mrs. Patel has become committed to living a healthier lifestyle and to raising awareness of organizations like Susan G. Komen, so that women can one day live without fear of breast cancer. Mrs. Patel was thrilled to know that her efforts were going to make a profound impact in the community. For the last three months, she and her family took up the cause of raising funds to support the BAPS Charities Walk in Chino Hills and raised over $1,000!

The annual BAPS Charities Walk, which took place on Saturday, May 17th at Veterans Park in Chino Hills, will support Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the Inland Empire. This renown organization, committed to serving women and saving lives, is on a mission to eliminate breast cancer. Beneficiaries like the Susan G. Komen foundation work to combat breast cancer through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy, and programs in over 50 countries. Representative Sarah Bryant noted, “The impact of [BAPS Charities] and its activities within the community is remarkable and noteworthy.”

This year’s walkathon brought together over 700 participants ranging from young kids at the age of 5 to seniors at the age of 75. Prior to the walk, over 20 participants raced through in a 5K run in support of the cause. Following the run, the walk launched when the Boy Scouts Troop 220 performed the opening ceremony of colors and led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

In his opening speech, Assemblyman Curt Hagman, expressed his enthusiasm for servitude, saying, “I am always proud and honored to support BAPS Charities in its collective effort to better the local community.” Chino Hills Mayor Ed Graham mentioned, “BAPS Charities continues to support the Chino Hills community through these annual walks. It’s a testament to our wonderful working relationship and the commitment of each BAPS Charities member.” Similar support was shown by the other dignitaries also in attendance, which included: Councilmembers Ray Marquez and Art Bennett, Commissioner Barry Fischer, Chino Valley Independent Fire District Chief Tim Shakleford, and San Bernardino County Sheriff Department Lieutenant Robert Salas.

Funds were also raised for the benefit of the local heroes from the Chino Valley Independent Fire District and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department, which serve to protect the public on a day-to-day basis.

Roma Patel, a local volunteer for the walk, commented, “Participating in events like this is a wonderful opportunity for my entire family to come together and contribute to something that creates a positive impact in our community. Today, I walked with my son and daughter!”

Upon completing the walk, Urmila Patel proudly stated, “Because of BAPS Charities’ efforts, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have a fighting chance. The enthusiasm generated from this walk has given me faith that the cure is nearer to discovery and women like myself should continue to fight.”

BAPS Charities undertakes many such charitable events throughout the year to support local communities. BAPS Charities’ projects are inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s motto, “In the joy of others, lies our own.” Through this motto, Pramukh Swami Maharaj selflessly serves society through a variety of social projects and inspires thousands of others to do the same. In addition to the 40 such annual walkathons hosted across North America this year, BAPS Charities hosts a variety of programs to support healthy living, environmental awareness and education initiatives around the world. BAPS Charities sincerely serves the community, by improving the quality of life of individuals and families. Vinit Patel is a community outreach activities volunteer.