About the Central Park Breast Cancer Walk

By Sabah Karimi

  • Overview

    The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is designed to raise awareness about breast cancer by raising funds for breast cancer research and charities. The walk in Central Park honors and celebrates breast cancer survivors and their friends and families as they participate in a 4- or 5-mile race.
  • Significance

    The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event sponsored by the American Cancer Society is one of the largest charity events in New York City. The breast cancer walk typically takes place in mid to late October and attracts thousands of participants from the local area. Schools, businesses and individuals band together to support breast cancer research and show their support for survivors by undertaking a set walk through Central Park. All participants are encouraged to raise money by collecting donations in person, or promoting their online fundraising pages provided by the American Cancer Society.
  • Types

    The Central Park event consists of two courses; a 4-mile route and a 5-mile route. The 5-mile walk goes through 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, and Central Park West. The alternate route of 4-miles cuts through 100th Street and 102nd Street and is open for walking at the same time as the main event. Both routes are open to all ages and fitness levels, and can be undertaken any time after the opening ceremony.


  • Features

    Individuals participating in the annual breast cancer walk in Central Park can show support for the event by wearing pink or pink-themed items. Teams are encouraged to wear matching T-shirts with the breast cancer ribbon, and may order custom T-shirts and accessories with their team name or business, and the Making Strides logo or insignia. Those who do not wish to participate in the race can still show support by purchasing merchandise where profits are donated to the American Cancer Society, or volunteering for event-related activities.
  • Misconceptions

    Unlike many breast cancer awareness events around the country, the Central Park breast cancer walk is a non-competitive walk that can be undertaken at any pace. There is no registration fee involved, and individuals and teams are not required to raise a specific amount in donations. However, those that do raise money for the American Cancer Society event will be listed on the Central Park website and top fundraisers will receive recognition during and after the event. The American Cancer Society does not distribute T-shirts, hats or any other commemorative accessories for race participants.
  • Considerations

    The American Cancer Society needs hundreds of volunteers to make the annual walk successful. Volunteers are needed to oversee the registration booths, secure local sponsors for the event, serve as route marshals, supervise the "survivor tent," initiate marketing projects and hand out food and refreshments during the day of the event. The event also needs volunteers to help with office duties and brochure distribution before the big day. Participants can register at the event by arriving at the registration tents at least 1 hour before the race begins, or register online through the official registration portal (see Resources).
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