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Stater Bros. Charities’ Annual ‘Believe Walk’ This Weekend

Stater Bros Believe Walk 2011

This year will mark the fifth year of support, awareness and celebration for local cancer-fighting organizations located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. On Sunday, Oct. 7, in downtown Redlands, the annual Believe Walk will kick off to a crowd of more than 12,000 participants including walkers, volunteers and public supporters.

In four years, the Believe Walk has donated more than $1.3 million to local cancer-fighting organizations—like the Loma Linda University Cancer Center to help establish the Patient Resource Program; upgrade the imaging equipment from film to digital at both St. Bernardine Medical Center and Redlands Community Hospital; and help support and sustain cancer awareness and resource organizations like Michelle’s Place in Temecula Valley that provides services to the southern region of the Inland Empire.

In 2008, Inland Women Fighting Cancer (IWFC) was created by a coalition of local community leaders—Annie Sellas, Cathy Stockton, and Nancy Varner—to fight cancer in the local community; and, with the help of Stater Bros. Charities, the first Believe Walk was launched. From the start, community groups, families, local businesses, volunteers, runners, walkers and their pets are all encouraged to participate in the 5K/10K walk through the streets of Historic Downtown Redlands.

“These past four years have been amazing with the level of community support the Believe Walk has received,” said Varner. “It’s so exciting to see how all aspects of the community have come together for one cause, to fight cancer.”

The Walk will begin in Redlands at Orange and State streets, where several of the downtown shops will be open and ready for business. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m. with an expected turnout of more than 10,000 walkers. Individual registration is $35, age 4-12 is $10 and age 3 and under is free. Participants are encouraged to register online at www.BelieveIE.com. There is an additional $15 registration fee on the day of the event. Walkers also will have the option of either a 5K or 10K route that was created by the local mapping business Esri. Dogs also are encouraged to attend. There will be a “Bark and Believe” check-in booth sponsored by Varner & Brandt LLP, where owners will be given doggy goody bags.

“This small town event has evolved into a community celebration,” said Jack H. Brown, chairman and CEO of Stater Bros. Supermarkets. “Everyone is affected by cancer at some point in their lives, and it’s amazing to see how our community, the Inland Empire, has stepped up to the plate to do something about it.”

Cheer squads from the local area will be on the route to raise the spirit level and encourage walkers as they make the trek to the finish line at the Redlands Bowl, while Girl Scouts, high school bands and other community groups will hand out goodies to walkers along the route. Those taking the extended 10K route will be challenged with a pleasant climb, which wraps around to Redlands Community Hospital.

At the end of the walk, participants will celebrate at the Believe Bash located at the Redlands Bowl. More than 50 vendors will be at the Bash with food and free items for the participants. In addition, Kids Zone will be offered this year and include face painters, balloon makers and a large slide. A memorial area called the Believe Garden also has been designated to honor loved ones affected by cancer.

“The walk is for everyone in the community, families, businesses, community leaders, and cancer survivors and for those who wish to walk in memory of loved ones who have passed. We want everyone to participate,” said Stockton. “During these hard times it’s imperative that our community fights the fight together.”


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