Sunday, September 23, 2018
News Roundup

Three-day breast cancer walk brings families and survivors to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — After she lost her mother to breast cancer three years ago, Candace Zlotnick decided she wanted to do something big and difficult.

That something became the Susan G. Komen Tampa Bay 3-Day, a 60-mile walk spread over three days that takes participants from Sand Key Park in Clearwater to South Straub Park in St. Petersburg.

The walk ended there Sunday, with more than 1,300 people — wearing pink sneakers, hair ribbons, tutus or T-shirts — passing the finish line to cheers from onlookers and family members.

The walk, which drew people from the Tampa Bay area and some from across the United States, raised $2.5 million, organizers announced at the closing ceremony.

As she and a friend stretched after finishing the walk, Zlotnick, 42, of Tampa pulled a small plastic bag filled with gray powder out of her fanny pack. She had walked 60 miles with a handful of her mother's ashes.

Zlotnick said she planned to drive to Madeira Beach to scatter them, in memory of the days her mother drove her to Clearwater Beach in a convertible.

"I could feel her spirit with me," she said, adding that whatever muscle pain she felt a few hours ago had vanished when she arrived in South Straub Park to a line of cheering people.

Displaying more confidence than the average 16-year-old boy, Brody Westfall crossed the finish line wearing a pink bra over his T-shirt. His father, Mark Westfall, wore a matching outfit.

Brody's mother died from breast cancer when he was 4 and she was 35. For two days during the walk, he carried a flag that read "Mother."

Mark Westfall, who's from Lakeland, said the walk was emotional for them. "We cried, we laughed. … You learn everyone's story along the way," he said.

They also received a fair amount of attention for their pink undergarments. "The kids thought it was hilarious," he said.

Eight black pirate hats lined with pink trim bobbed across the finish line atop the heads of eight friends from Sarasota. Their motto: "Make cancer walk the plank."

Years ago, they met and befriended each other in a spinning class at a Gold's Gym. When three of them were diagnosed with breast cancer, they began walking as a group to raise money. This year they raised $20,000; last year, $40,000.

Throughout the walk, they kept themselves entertained with songs and outpourings of support from friends in the form of ice cream and back massages.

"We're probably the most spoiled team out here," joked Lynne Renfroe.

Ingrid Moertl lives in Columbia, Mo., but flew to the Tampa Bay area for the walk to honor her mother and her niece, both of whom survived breast cancer.

Pinned to the straps of her pink lace bra, which she wore over a T-shirt, were buttons reading: "Viva las chicas," and "I'm taking the girls for a walk."

"I walk in their honor," she said. "I just got back from Iraq in the beginning of the year and I knew that I was retiring from the Army Reserves … so I knew that I wanted to do something more philanthropic than I've done in the past."

Anna M. Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or 727-893-8779.

Comments
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

TAMPA — Whenever USF handed the ball to running back Jordan Cronkrite on Saturday night, a big play seemed close. The Bulls were just one block, one chip, one cut away."We knew it was coming," quarterback Blake Barnett said.Finally, with 1...
Updated: 5 hours ago
USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

TAMPA — USF opened its American Athletic Conference schedule Saturday with a 20-13 victory against East Carolina, but it had to do so without the nation's top returner.Freshman receiver and return specialist Terrence Horne tore his ACL in pract...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

Matt Baker’s takeaways from USF-East Carolina

I figured East Carolina would either look amazing or awful to start, considering it spent the past week and a half in Orlando because of Hurricane Florence. Turns out the Pirates channeled their emotions well, scoring on their first possession and fo...
Updated: 6 hours ago
UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he'd never come off.Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a hi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On an evening in which Tennessee honored its 1998 national championship squad, the current crop of Vols managed to offset the whole nostalgic shindig.By making the 2018 Gators resemble a national championship-caliber club.A o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

Lightning forward prospect Boris Katchouk putting together strong preseason

TAMPA — As the end of training camp looms, there's no clear-cut answer as to how the Lightning will fill the one, maybe two open forward spots in its lineup.It could go with Adam Erne. Spending much of his time in AHL Syracuse the past three se...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

Lightning journal: ‘No-risk’ forward pickup; another preseason win; Fan Fest on Sunday

TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available."He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has been seeking improvement on offense after managing just 10 combined points in its two FBS losses. The Seminoles found some reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround on Saturday. Deondre Francois threw for a season-high...
Updated: 7 hours ago