Prison's Shadow Walk supports Komen event
While thousands lined up Saturday, May 20, to participate in the 20th annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, hundreds of women already had gone on their own walk in Marysville to support the Komen event.
More than 600 female offenders at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville took part in the second Race for the Cure Shadow Walk on May 12. The event took place inside the walls of the prison one week before the annual Komen Columbus Race. They collectively raised more than $6,000.
Elizabeth Wright, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation, said every penny of the money raised will be directed to Komen Columbus for vital local breast health screening, treatment and education and national research.
The race at the prison first began last year, the brainchild of then-deputy warden of special services Jennifer Sanders, and the prison's residents agreed it was a good idea. That first year, more than 350 women participated. This year, hundreds more joined in the event and organizers had to stagger-start the runners and walkers to work everyone in.
The Shadow Walk is proof that breast cancer creeps into every corner of America, with several of the women at the prison currently breast cancer patients or survivors of breast cancer. The inmates involved with the walk understand its importance, Wright said.
"There has been an overwhelming positive response from the offenders and the staff involved," she said.
Many of the funds raised came from the individual prisoners. Offender groups donated money in addition to individual offender donations. The LIFE group sponsored any "lifer" who chose to participate. The LIFE Group is a group composed of women who are serving life sentences. LIFE stands for Looking Inward for Excellence. It has fundraisers throughout the year and the money goes into the group's account, which is overseen by staff. These funds are separate from an individual's prisoner account.
Ohio Reformatory for Women warden Ginine Trim said she was pleased with the efforts of the offenders and the staff who spearheaded the walk.
"We are always looking for ways that our offenders can give back to the community," she said.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement and has invested more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1982 to fight breast cancer.
The Ohio Reformatory for Women houses 2,271 offenders ranging from minimum security to death row inmates in Union County.