November 14, 2014
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Winn-Dixie Store No. 1406 Director Clayton Majeste center, with Center Store Lead (and breast cancer survivor) Allison Palmer-Bechtel of Winn-Dixie store No. 1412 on the WGNO Good Morning New Orleans Show.​

The Winn-Dixie New Orleans region teamed up with the American Cancer Society through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer to help build awareness and raise funds to fight breast cancer. In all, the region raised more than $170,000.

“Making Strides is such a great organization and we were very excited to show our support for this important cause," said Lynn Rushing, District 2 director and New Orleans region champion for Making Strides. "The funds we raised as a region goes to research, support and the preventative measures needed to eliminate this disease."

From selling pink lemonade to hosting softball tournaments, the New Orleans region made an extra effort to support breast cancer awareness in ways that brought the community together. Karena Niblett, regional vice president, along with other members of her team, even participated in a “Pink Pie in the Face” event after visiting cancer patients at Hope Lodge to cook for patients’ family members.

"Words cannot express my deepest gratitude to Winn-Dixie for stepping up to the challenge and making this goal a reality," said Paul Shamise, American Cancer Society mid-south division senior director of community engagement. "In my 15 years with the American Cancer Society, I have never witnessed such dedication and commitment from an organization. Please know that your efforts make a difference in the New Orleans community."

Breast cancer is a disease that affects many Americans. While collecting funds for Making Strides, District 5 director Mohamed Abul-Hawa received the news that his sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The fundraising efforts for Making Strides meant a lot to me from the start of the campaign, but once my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, it really hit home," said Abul-Hawa. "My sister’s diagnosis gave a familiar face to this horrible disease. Knowing that my district was raising funds for Making Strides gave me a great sense of fulfillment and hope.”

The campaign culminated with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walks in various districts throughout the region. Teams from districts throughout the region walked to help wipe out breast cancer, one step at a time.

“On Nov. 1, I walked for my sister, the associates and everyone else in the community that have battled, and is still fighting this disease,” said Abul-Hawa. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our efforts can help save lives.”

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