The local celebration that has brightened the community for 26 years — the Little Falls Canal Celebration — got its start Monday evening with the fourth annual Curves of Little Falls 5K breast cancer awareness walk.
The 3.1-mile walk had men and women pounding the pavement to raise awareness for the disease, which strikes thousands of women a year. Organizers asked for a $20 donation per person, with all of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society in Utica.
Curves of Little Falls owner Diane Aulisi said the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is important. “So many people are touched by breast cancer in some way, and this is a great opportunity for us to come together as a community and do something about it,” she said in a news release. “It is exciting to know that we’re participating with the members in our own community to help others in need.”
For those who couldn’t participate in the walk, Curves conducted a Chinese auction with more than 50 items, including gift cards from restaurants and shops and a bread maker.
Last year, the club raised $2,500 with a team of 80 walkers.
This year, Curves of Little Falls set a goal to raise $3,000.
While the larger Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Utica takes place in October on the Masonic Care Community campus, Aulisi said the local club began the walk to promote breast cancer awareness during the city’s annual Canal Celebration.
“By doing the 5K now people will be able to take part in the Curves walk and promote breast cancer awareness now, as well as in the fall,” she said.
The 26th annual Canal Celebration will continue through Sunday, Aug. 11.
From its humble beginnings as a means to stimulate growth on Main Street, the celebration has grown to be a citywide tradition of celebrating the Erie Canal and Lock 17. Events will take place from the side of the Erie Canal to the many parks in the city.
“We are different from other town celebrations in that we use multiple locations rather than a single one,” said Gary Van Veghten, publicity and advertising coordinator. “You get to see the whole community that way.”
To make visiting all of the parks convenient, there will be a free shuttle bus.
Some of the festivities include:
• Community picnic beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday
• Vendors, food and entertainment in Eastern Park Friday though Sunday.
• Parade at 6 p.m. Friday.
• Shakespeare in the Park at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday
• Classic car show at Burke Park from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday.
This year, the celebration is dedicated to Little Falls Hospital for its 120th anniversary.
Page 2 of 2 - For a full list of events, visit www.littlefallsny.com
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