The shirt changes color each year and wearers flood the streets of the neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side on Mother's Day. The 2016 walk begins at 8 a.m. May 8 at Ridge Park.
"It's one of the biggest events in the neighborhood each year," said Pat Morley, the development coordinator for the Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation.
The hospital in nearby Evergreen Park uses the proceeds from the event to fund its Comprehensive Breast Health Center. This includes providing patients with clinical trials, funding equipment updates and offering individual support to those diagnosed with the disease, Morley said.
Some 14,000 people participated in the 16th annual event last year, despite rainy weather. The most recent effort raised $550,000. Since its inception, the Beverly walk has amassed more than $4 million for the hospital's local fight against breast cancer.
Morely hopes to top last year's figures this Mother's Day and said warm weather would certainly help organizers reach their goal. That said, the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk has already surpassed similar walks and fundraisers held Downtown.
Much of this success is credited to homeowners along the 3.3-mile route. Some residents decorate their homes for the occasion with modest flair such as pink ribbons around fence posts while others hang hundreds of bras from trees.
Still others along the route open up their driveways and garages to local bands, Irish dance troupes, exercise demonstrations and more.
The walk began in 2000 as an off-shoot of Y-Me's then-preeminent Mother's Day Race Against Breast Cancer. Carol Moriarty, who is a breast cancer survivor, her sister Nancy Mulcah and friend Lisa O’Brien opted to walk in their neighborhood rather than make the trek Downtown.
And while the route changes each year, it always begins and ends at Ridge Park at 9625 S. Longwood Drive in Beverly. A map of the 2016 route has been posted on the event's website.
Those participating in the event are encouraged to preregister online. It costs $30 for adults and $15 for children 18 and younger. Adult participants can also register on the day of the event for an additional $10. Day-of registration for children costs an extra $5.
Walk-up registration and T-shirt pick-up is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 4-8 p.m. May 4 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 7 at Little Company of Mary Hospital at 2800 W. 95th St. in Evergreen Park.
For more information, visit the website for the 2016 Beverly Breast Cancer Walk or call 708-229-5022.
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