Clay Today

Oct. 8, 2009

Pink Jetts Make Strides’ Walk Saturday

The Pink Jetts made their first appearance in the 2008 Makeing Strides for Breast Cancer Walk.

By Christina Leach Phillips

Correspondent

ORANGE PARK — When employees from the Clay County Clerk of the Circuit Court participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk inOrangeParkon Saturday, they will walk in memory of Anne Jett, wife of James Jett, Clerk of the Court.  On March 17, Anne Jett died of cancer that began as breast cancer.

“’The Pink Jetts’ – that’s the name of our team,” said Donna Lawson, Team Captain.  “The Pink Jetts name is a collaboration of all the employees because of Mr. Jett.  We have t-shirts that are pink and have our name with this little jet flying off,” she said.

They started the team last year.  “We have a survivor who works in our office, and she approached me about helping form a team,” said Lawson.  Last year, The Pink Jetts walked in honor of that employee, Suzanna Allen, who is a five-year breast cancer survivor.

“We are participating again except this year we are walking in memory of Mrs. Jett, so this is very near and dear to all of us,” said Lawson. 

The Pink Jetts were the top fund-raising team for theOrangeParkwalk last year and raised over $8,000, she said.  “As of today, we’re at $6,925.22.  This year the economy is hurting us a little bit.”

They have raised funds by holding bake sales, raffles, and luncheons, said Lawson.   Jim Rosamilia, brother of Anne Jett, has raised over $1,200 for The Pink Jetts so far, she said.

Billy Jones, Community Representative for the Orange Park office of the American Cancer Society that sponsors the walk, said,  “It is a fund raiser, but the primary reason we do it is to raise awareness about breast cancer and encourage women to get their annual mammograms and to know the benefits of early detection and early screenings.  Of course we do try and raise money to continue helping those researchers out there to come up with a cure for breast cancer,” he said.

This is the fifth year that the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk will be held inOrangePark.  “Our goal is to raise $107,000.   Last year was the first year we had gone over the $100,000 mark, so we’re hoping we can do it again this year,” said Jones.

There are 89 officially registered teams, according to Jones who said they hope to have 150 breast cancer survivors in attendance,

The Pink Jetts team has 32 people who have ordered t-shirts, said Lawson.  “We have a lot of family members who will come and walk with us – people of all ages from strollers to wheelchairs,” she said.

Jones said, “We have really made an effort to try and engage the youth through the high schools and middle schools.  We have cheerleading groups that are going to be out there, jazz bands, and dance teams.  We really felt that if we could get the youth involved, they would probably bring their parents,” he said.

“Last year,RidgeviewHigh Schoolwas recognized as the top fund raising youth team.  They raised over $5,000.  It challenged the other high schools around the area to see if they could take that award from them,” said Jones.

This year, the girl’s volleyball team fromSt. Johnshas already raised $1,800 for their team, “The Diva Girls,” he said.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk starts behind the Orange Park Kennel Club at 9 a.m. on Saturday.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and there will be breakfast items and festivities for the walkers.  The three-mile walk will take participants alongRiver Roadfor one and one half miles, and then they turn around and walk back, said Jones.

“After the walk, we will have a survivor luncheon.  We have gifts and door prizes and games.  It really is a celebration of them and to honor those we have lost to breast cancer,” Jones said.

Last year, Anne Jett walked as a survivor. This year, James Jett will be walking in memory of Anne alongside The Pink Jetts.

People can still contribute to a team of their choice on Saturday at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, or they can go online to www.cancer.org

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