Licking County's newest wellness program, We're Active in Licking County (WALC), is celebrating October as breast-cancer awareness month with a noncompetitive Pink Strides walk around the Licking County courthouse Oct. 4.

Licking County's newest wellness program, We're Active in Licking County (WALC), is celebrating October as breast-cancer awareness month with a noncompetitive Pink Strides walk around the Licking County courthouse Oct. 4.

"The big thing is to try and raise money for a good program that provides financial assistance for people diagnosed with breast cancer," said Kate Daniher, health educator for the Licking County Health Department.

Daniher said WALC is sponsoring the Pink Strides walk to raise funds for Services and Social Support (SASS) for Breast Cancer, an organization that provides free screenings and support for people with breast cancer. The organization also receives funding from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (formerly Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation).

Walkers should register between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, for free at the gazebo on the courthouse square, pre-register online at www.lcwalc.org or pick up a form at Chrysalis Hair Designs, New Day Spa or the Licking County Health Department.

The walk will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

"It will get people healthy and support a good cause," Daniher said. "This is for people of all ages and all abilities."

Donations will be accepted throughout the day, and all proceeds will benefit SASS.

Breast-cancer survivors will participate, and each will be given a pink shirt. The first 100 walkers will be given white T-shirts.

"That will be the way to recognize them (survivors)," Daniher said of the shirts.

Each breast-cancer survivor will be entered to win $250 worth of activities and products donated by New Day Spa and Chrysalis Hair Designs.

This is the first event of its kind, in WALC's first year of existence.

Daniher said the program came out of the Community Blue Print, released in March 2007 by the Licking County United Way.

The blueprint contained information compiled from 700 local residents and 83 community leaders and representatives of United Way's partner agencies. It listed health-care issues and dental affordability, economic and employment issues and behavioral health as the most important issues facing county residents.

Daniher said after more consideration, local leaders formed a Licking County Wellness Coalition to find out how to encourage more residents to become healthy. From that coalition, WALC was formed.

Thus far this year, the organization has implemented a Web site and has provided pedometers to several people. Using the Web site, residents can input their mileage from pedometers and track how far they have walked, tying their mileage to destinations across the country.

The site features an events calendar that promotes such health activities as the Pink Strides walk and links to local trails and walking paths in the county and provides information about local fitness facilities.

"It's a great resource," Daniher said.

Another way WALC encourages people to get fit is by working with schools, tracking physical activities for students and healthy eating practices tied to each school's wellness plan. Daniher said each school that offers a free breakfast program first must have a wellness plan in place.

For more information, call (740) 349-6535.