Tears flowed as the daughters of Antionette Cuellar recalled their mother's giving spirit, her zest for life and her steadfast determination to beat the cancer that, nevertheless, took her life in May at the age of 48.
The daughters' comments were followed by a rendition of Cuellar's favorite song, "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus, and the release of white doves in her honor.
It was an appropriate remembrance for the woman who participated in and was the spokeswomen for the annual Plaza Bella Goes Pink walk.
Although Cuellar was not physically present at this year's fifth annual walk on Saturday, Oct. 20, Plaza Bella Goes Pink founder, Roz Creager, owner of The Green Boutique, said she could fill her spirit with them.
Friends and family members wore buttons bearing Cuellar's photo and lined the driveway entrance into Plaza Bella with pink ribbons in honor of Cuellar and other loved ones who lost their battles with breast cancer. Cuellar's nephews, William and Anthony Wright, along with friends Antonio Rivera and Chris DeGiglio, even donned pink capes in Cuellar's honor.
"Antionette was a very giving person and really cared about people," said her mother, Rosa Lombardi, who also lost a son to thyroid cancer. "She would have been thrilled with the crowd here today."
More than 400 people attended this year's walk, taking part in a 5K Challenge or the shorter Diva Strut.
Afterward, walkers gathered to listen to music provided by Big Beat Entertainment and to participate in a drawing for gift baskets.
Last year the event raised more than $22,000 for the American Cancer Society and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Walkers can choose which of the two organizations will receive their donated money.
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