The Kinnakeet Shores neighborhood in Avon was a much more colorful community on Saturday morning, October 7, thanks to the 14th Annual HICF Positively Pink 5K.
The event, which was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Matthew, has been a popular fundraiser for the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation (HICF) for over a decade, and serves as a great opportunity for people to don their hottest shades of pink while supporting a great cause.
Adults, kids, and pups all gathered at the Sun Realty office on Monday morning to join in the event, which raised $9,914 to help neighbors on Hatteras Island battling cancer. Roughly 80 people ran, walked, or meandered through the soundside route, causing a few double takes by visitors who were surprised to see dogs in pink tutus, a flurry of pink shirts and wigs, and bikes that were decked out in rosy streamers and flowers.
Pennsylvania residents Dan and Robin Adams Rothermel, who donated 100% of the T-shirts for 2017’s event, first learned about the annual 5K by simply noticing the pink-infused scene several years ago.
“We were going to Food Lion and saw a large group of people all in pink,” says Robin. “I had done 5Ks before and thought it would be cool to do one here, so we joined in.” Robin immediately donned her running gear in the Rothermels’ truck, and off she went. The Rothermels loved the spontaneity of the day, and looked forward to joining in the annual race in future years.
But the race took on a personal note in 2017 for the Rothermels, after Robin was herself diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring.
“It has a different meaning now,” says Robin, “and we wanted to find a way to contribute more.”
Robin spent her recovery after her June operation at the beach, noting that the Hatteras Island landscape made her feel better. “My recuperation was spent at the Point,” she says. “No matter how crappy I was feeling, I got down here and felt that all was right with the world.”
Their love of the beach, as well as their appreciation of the local community, led the Rothermels to contribute to 2017’s event in a major and wonderful way.
In a fantastic turn of events, Dan, who owns a t-shirt printing business, offered to make and donate all of the shirts for this year’s 5K. It was an offer that came just in the nick of time, as unbeknownst to the Rothermels, there were no shirts for this year’s runners due to unexpected complications.
“We were happy to help,” says Dan. “We spent our summer here and got to know so many people, and we love the local community. Everyone is so nice, and we wanted to give something back.”
Another participant who left a noticeable mark on this year’s event was two-time cancer survivor and multiple-time winner of the annual “Pinked Out” contest, Connie Meekins. Connie was awarded a pinked out gift basket donated by Lee Robinson’s General Store.
Rocking head-to-toe pink, which included a hot pink wig topped with seashells and a football, Connie was a stand-out in the crowd, and attracted a lot of attention from passer-bys in the Kinnakeet Shores neighborhood.
“I think the most I spent on my outfit was $10,” said Connie. “I raided the Halloween section at Walmart, and got a few items at the Dollar Tree.”
Connie, who battled breast cancer in 2014, once again won the award for wearing the most pink at 2017’s event, and walked a good portion of the 5K despite having recent knee surgery in the summer.
“I was a little nervous about [doing the 5K], but I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
The event drew a number of cancer survivors of all ages and their supporters, as well as friends, kids, adults, and even costumed dogs.
Mariah James, owner of Old Gray House Gifts in Buxton, brought her two male pups Tucker and Luke to the race. Wearing matching pink tutus, the dogs took both the race and the pink theme in stride.
“They don’t seem to mind the pink at all,” said James.
After the race, participants munched on barbecue sandwiches and chips donated by Marlin Catering and Hatteras Marlin Club, and hung out to hear the announcement of the winners. First place through third placer prizes were given out for multiple age categories, and there was also a raffle with tons of enticing prizes from local businesses.
The warm weather and light breeze brought an extra dose of sunshine to the already bright and festive event, and more than one participant said they were already looking forward to next year.
“We’ll definitely be back,” said Dan Rothermel. “This is a great event, and we’re just happy we can help.”
Click Here for a list of the HICF Positively Pink 5K Winners
Click Here To View The Slide Show
The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation would like to thank all of the participants, volunteers and the following sponsors for making this year’s Positively Pink 5K a success.
GOLD SPONSORS | $1,000
Mead L. Slagle, DDS
Greater Kinnakeet Shores
East Cape Clothing Co. – Dan and Robin Adams Rothermel
SILVER SPONSORS | $500
Ace Hardware • NC 12 Realty • Batchelor Homes
BRONZE SPONSORS | $200
Atlantic Coast Cafe • Studio 12 • Sun Realty
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative • Koru Village
Kostich & O’Neal CPA • Shore Details
Water’s Edge Landscaping • Kempsville Building Materials
Inn on Pamlico Sound • OBX Spice Company, Inc.
Hatteras Harbor Marina • Avon Property Owners Assoc.
GOOD NEIGHBOR SPONSOR | $100
Hatteras Wedding Ministry • Cape Hatteras Motel
Hatteras Marlin Club • Albatross Fleet
SeaWorthy Gallery • Kim Hockenbury / Carolina Kids
Conner’s Supermarket • Michael Halminski Photography