Cathy’s Plano Race Blog: Hispanics for the Cure Spotlight

Hispanics-for-the-CureThis week I met Carol Herrera, the Team Captain for Hispanics for the Cure.  This team was started by her sister, Elizabeth Guardiola, for the first Plano Race for the Cure 25 years ago, and has been active ever since.  In 2004, Elizabeth lost her battle with breast cancer.  To honor her memory, Elizabeth’s friends and family created Elizabeth’s Garden, a Race program that Carol has been involved with ever since.

Elizabeth’s Garden is a beautiful addition to the Race.  It started with a few hand-painted pots and paper flowers.  Today, the garden is full of tulips and butterflies, each with a personalized message.  These can be messages to honor someone who has lost the battle, to celebrate survivors, or to thank a special co-survivor who has been there every step of the way.  They are available for $10 at both the Plano and Denton Race for the Cure, and the tulip or butterfly can be collected at the end of the race.  Make sure you stop by Elizabeth’s Garden on Race day to see the tulips and butterflies and to meet the Elizabeth and Carol’s families.

Carol’s favorite part of being part on the team is knowing that she is keeping her sister’s memory alive and supporting a cause that was important to Elizabeth.  She loves having her extended family there.  Her parents, who are in their late 70’s and early 80’s, sit and help with Elizabeth’s Garden, while the rest of the family divides time between walking in the 5K and helping with the Garden.

Hispanics for the Cure has won the largest Friends and Family team every year except one.  The team size has fluctuated over the years, but their goal this year is to have 100 members and to raise $1000.  I asked Carol how she gets people to sign up for the team, especially considering how long this team has been together.  The core of the team is the Herrera and Guardiola families.  The rest of the team is made up of friends, co-workers, and extended family.  Carol’s kids grew up going to the Race each year, and her children now bring their children.

To spread the word about the team, Carol relies heavily on social media.  She starts posting about the Race, and signs the team up as soon as registration opens.  Carol recommended using the online tools provided by Komen North Texas.  These will auto-post reminders to Facebook about your fund raising efforts and about the walk itself.

This year Carol’s husband has been organizing a golf tournament to help raise funds.  Historically they have hosted bake sales, and used tip jars, as well as asking for donations.

Carol’s advice for someone starting a team is to be passionate.  Ask everyone.  With 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer, almost everyone has been affected by this disease.  Don’t assume that someone won’t want to be part of the team.  Even if someone doesn’t want to be part of the team, they may be willing to donate or may know someone else who would like to be part of the team.