On Sunday, March 12, Pink Ribbon Monaco is holding the 5th edition of its popular 5-km walk, and the non-profit organisation is confident that they’ll smash their previous record of 400 registrants.
Online registration closes Saturday at 3 pm but supporters can also sign up in person at the Running Expo at Stade Louis II on Friday and Saturday from 1 pm to 7 pm. “We ask participants to mention how many children they are bringing so that we can get a better idea of total numbers,” Pink Ribbon Monaco President, Natasha Frost, told Monaco Life, adding that registration is €30 but free for under-13s.
“If you cannot walk with us on Sunday, please still register,” Ms Frost-Savio advised. “You can also donate by sending us a cheque or ask a friend to buy our bespoke candles or raffle tickets – €5 each or five for €20. Donated prizes for the draw include a spa treatment at the new Givenchy Spa at the Metropole Hotel Monaco, a Pilates lesson for winner and 2 friends by the Method by Ingrid and a personalised iced cake with your choice of flavour by Irene’s Cakes.
Raffle tickets and Pink Ribbon merchandise, the sales of which also help support the association, are available at the Running Expo, the same location where prior to Sunday participants need to pick up registration kits containing a pink T-shirt to wear on the day, and a bib to write a message of support for a loved one fighting cancer. The Running Expo is also place to meet the Pink Ribbon team.
“We are a very small team of the most wonderful ladies,” Ms Frost-Savio said. “This year, I think there are nearly ten, all taking turns during the Stadium days and juggling Pink Ribbon with their own crazy busy lives.”
Their tasks range from collecting raffle prizes, helping with press releases, organising merchandise and answering emails, and without the Pink Ribbon team this event could not happen. “I would like to thank them all, they have been amazing and have gone well beyond the call of duty this year!” emphasised Ms Frost-Savio, who is expecting any day now. “We welcome volunteers for the walk, but the spots are actually quite in demand, so we fill up quickly.”
Ms Frost-Savio pointed out that “Fight like a girl!” used to be a derogatory expression. “We have taken it back, to show strength – like how women get through adversity, through illness, and through everything that life can throw to us. We are strong, and we dare you to fight like a girl, which is why we always use the image of a strong character on our poster.”
Across the year, Pink Ribbon Monaco continues to raise awareness for the cause. In October, the association lights up landmarks in the Principality as a gesture of support to breast cancer victims. “This is a worldwide effort, and we have had great support from the Princely Palace and the Monaco Government as well from the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, the Monaco Yacht Club, the Casino and the Tour Odeon. All lit up in pink,” Ms Frost-Savio described.
Other events have involved poker tournaments, Paddle for Pink – an introduction to Stand Up Paddle, which is highly recommended for mastectomy patients – and nutrition and health classes, as well as discussion and conferences. “This year, in September, we are hosting a Quiz Night at the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo,” Ms Frost-Savio announced, “and profits will go towards a new clinical study aimed at fighting two very aggressive strains of breast cancer, HER2+ and TNBC, carried out by the prestigious Centre Lacassagne in Nice, the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace.”
Sunday’s Pink Ribbon Monaco 5 km fundraiser departs from the esplanade at Port Hercule and other than a few steps up to the Palace is an easy walk. “We encourage men women and children to dress in pink and be as eccentric as possible … fighting illness with strength and humour,” Ms Frost-Savio said. “In the past, we’ve seen a team of five ladies dressed as Pink Flamingos, with bright tutu’s, and another group in pink Super Girl costumes.”
Ms Frost-Savio reminds walkers that Sunday’s start “will be at 10 am sharp”.