Cranston businesses sponsor Gloria Gemma races

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There will be a 10K coming to Flames of Hope Weekend in downtown Providence for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, and one Cranston businesses has offered to sponsor the inaugural race this year

Dr. Ellen Frankel and her Rejuvaderm MediSpa announced their sponsorship of the Oct. 13 race last week during a Team Captain Reception held at Teas and Javas in Chapel View. Alex and Ani, sponsor of the Flames of Hope Run/Walk Series, hosted the meeting.

“Before you know it, October will be around the corner. We’re looking forward to energizing captains and equipping them with the information and tools they need to make their experience fun, successful and rewarding,” said Maria Gemma, executive director of the Foundation.

At the Flames of Hope Run/Walk Series Team Captain Welcome Reception, the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation thanked captains from last year’s races, welcomed new ones and encouraged them to build their teams for this year’s Flames of Hope Run/Walk Series. Each team captain received a Gloria Gemma bag with a team captain tool kit, race cards and posters. 

This year’s goal with the races is to raise $250,000. Participants have the option of running or walking in the 10K, 5K, a Kids Fun Run presented by Macy’s or a 50-yard high heel dash called Pink Pump Palooza, which is presented by The Walking Company.

Already, runners and walkers have raised $8,000.

“The Gloria Gemma 10K, new to this year’s race series, is the most popular one so far based on registration numbers. We’re excited about Rejuvaderm MediSpa’s title sponsorship of the 10K and are extremely grateful for Dr. Ellen Frankel’s continued support and partnership,” said Gemma.

Recently, Dr. Frankel participated in The Avon breast cancer walk, which she described as “the most moving weekend I had.”

“I decided to throw my support behind the GG foundation to raise awareness and educate people about this disease. Hopefully we can eradicate this disease in the not too distant future,” she said.

Frankel raised more than $11,000 during the Avon walk and is looking forward to continuing that work with Gloria Gemma.

“I have been a longtime supporter of breast cancer research,” said Dr. Frankel.

Every October, proceeds of product sales at her office would go to fund breast cancer research. When Lorraine Tate, who works for Dr. Frankel, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to keep funds locally and support Gloria Gemma.

The Gloria Gemma 5K began in 2009 with Lynn Simon as the driving force. She belonged to a walking group, eventually training for long distance walking for breast cancer.

“The emotion, excitement and passion behind those walking to support this cause was so overwhelming to me that I wanted to bring that spirit to Providence for the Gloria Gemma Foundation,” said Simon.

Simon has since served as the Flames of Hope Run/Walk series coordinator.

For 2013, Simon took a look at races in the state and realized that the state is saturated with 5Ks and half marathons that are becoming trendy. She felt as though they were neglecting a market. Tired of a 5K but not ready for a half or full marathon, the 10K was the perfect fit for the Flames of Hope Run/Walk series.

“I immediately took this to Dr. Frankel as I know her passion for this cause and running. Excited, she agreed to sign on as the title sponsor for the Gloria Gemma 10K for three years,” said Simon. “Since registration opened, more people have registered for the Gloria Gemma 10K than any other race, so I know that we made the right decision.”

Every Gloria Gemma 10K participant receives a Rejuvaderm MediSpa tech shirt and a moisture wicking material.

Through their annual race series, the Gemma Foundation raises awareness about breast cancer and to educate individuals about early detection, treatment and survival. One hundred percent of proceeds remain local and enable the Foundation to develop and offer free wellness programs and services to people in the community.

Flames of Hope Weekend will attract more than 100,000 people. Also joining in with the Flames of Hope Run/Walk series is T’s Restaurant of Cranston, which will be offering Glove Service Sponsorship on the morning of the races. T’s in Cranston, East Greenwich and Narragansett will provide nourishment for those participants that paid an additional $10 at registration to receive this benefit.

“Alex and Ani Charity by Design is proud to continue its support of the Gemma Foundation and reaches out to support woman locally. Considering breast cancer affects so many women, men and their families and friends, it was a no-brainer to support such a cause,” said Dee Fraser, project manager of Charity by Design. “It is truly a community project as the Gemma Foundation is considered family and not a large corporation with proceeds staying in the state.”

Alex and Ani is entering their third year of sponsorship.

“I would like to quote Melissa Ethridge, who is a role model for all people, those directly affected by this disease and others impacted by the ravages of this disease, as she wrote the words which I live by,” said Dr. Frankel. “I run for hope, I run to feel, I run for the truth for all that is real, I run for your mother, your sister, your wife, I run for you and me my friend – I run for life.”

Dr. Frankel will also be leading her team, the Rejuvaderm Heroes, the day of the race.

Registration is open at Flamesofhopeseries.org. For more information, call 861-HERO (4376) or visit www.gloriagemma.org.

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