Hundreds of pink-clad women and men laced up their sneakers Friday morning for what will be an emotional last three-day walk sponsored by Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Chicago.
The organization announced in June it would cut half of its three-day charity races next year because of a drop in participation levels.
Komen said "economic uncertainty" has affected participation levels, which dropped 37 percent over the past four years. Participants must raise at least $2,300 to walk 60 miles over three days.
The canceled races are in Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.
On Friday participants gathered at Northbrook Court Shopping Center for the race's opening ceremony. Cheers went up for everyone involved, especially local breast cancer survivors and their families.
The group will end the journey at Soldier Field on Sunday for a 4:30 p.m. closing ceremony.
The 60-day walk aims to draw awareness and raise money to find a cure. The organization said 75 percent of the net proceeds support Komen’s Research and Training Grant Program and public health outreach programs for people facing breast cancer. The remaining 25 percent benefits local community outreach programs, the group said.
Though the three-day event is ending in this area, Chicago hasn't seen the last of Komen races.
A 5K run and fun walk will be held Sept. 22 beginning at Yorktown Center in Lombard. Go to KomenChicago.org to register.