Cathy’s Plano Race Blog: Plano Cure-saders Spotlight

I have spent time spotlighting teams active with the Susan G. Komen North Texas Plano Race for the Cure, but it is important to remember that a team is made up of individuals.  This week I am spotlighting Sara Farris.  In addition to being captain for the City of Plano Cure-saders, Sara is currently one of our top fundraisers.

Sara had a friend invite her to participate in the Race for the Cure years ago.  While she enjoys 5Ks, this one had special significance since her aunt Kathy Gibson Capitelli battled breast cancer.  In 2007, her friend decided not to participate, and Sara wanted to continue.  Since she didn’t want to go it alone, Sara started a team with 15 people, through her contacts working for the City of Plano.  The team grew, and at its largest had 56 members.

Sara’s aunt was diagnosed at the age of 22, and fought breast cancer three or four times before losing her battle at the age of 59.  Despite her circumstances, Kathy was a very positive person.  Her catch phrase was “Wow Wee,” which was even on her license plate. That and her comment, “I’m not dying from cancer, I am living with cancer” left a lasting impression on Sara, and is part of what Sara shares with others.

I asked how Sara fundraises, and she said she uses the tools provided by Susan G. Komen online in her Participant Center.  She uploads her contact list, and uses that to send emails to everyone.  So far the 178 emails she sent out have resulted in $295 raised.

Sara admits that her job at the recreation center puts her in contact with people who have a fitness mindset.  However, she reaches out to HR, Marketing, the director of Parks and Rec, and the City’s volunteer coordinator to spread word about the team.  She wants people at work to understand that this team is made up of part-time and full-time employees, retirees, and their families – the more, the merrier, and everyone is invited!  This year HR started Connect 4 Health, a program to encourage fitness for employees.  Sara approached them, and got them to sponsor the Cure-Saders, providing t-shirts, and raffling off a Fitbit.

Sara said that she knew her team “made it” when the photographer wasn’t able to stand right in front of them and snap a picture.  That’s when you know your team is big!

Her best advice to someone coming to the Race for the first time is to get there early and remember where you parked!  She also suggested reading all of the emails and social media posts from Susan G. Komen for ideas and suggestions.  Her favorite part of the Race is seeing the energy and enthusiasm of everyone at the race, especially watching the survivors celebrating each other.

We look forward to seeing Sara, her family and the Cure-Saders at this year’s race!

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