Residents are invited to put on their walking shoes and head to Plaza Bella for the fifth annual Plaza Bella Goes Pink.
The event, to support breast cancer research and the patients who are affected by breast cancer, will take place Saturday, Oct. 20 at the shopping plaza on Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road.
According to Roz Creager, owner of The Green Boutique in Plaza Bella, 1078 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, this year's walk is dedicated to Antoinette Cuellar, who died in May after a battle with breast cancer. Cuellar was the spokeswoman for the walk for two years.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk will begin at 9 a.m. The first 300 people to register will receive a goodie bag. The cost to participate is $40 for individuals or $35 per person for a team of five or more.
Residents also can donate $5 for a pink ribbon in honor of a loved one, which will be placed at tne entrance of Plaza Bella and along Bloomingdale Avenue.
Participants can choose to walk the 5K Challenge or the shorter Diva Strut, said Creager, adding that walkers are welcome to dress up in costumes or pink clothing.
"The Diva Strut goes from Plaza Bella to the Bloomingdale Regional Library and back. And the 5K Challenge takes walkers from Plaza Bella to Natures Way in Bloomingdale East and back," said Creager.
"It's always a lot of fun," she added. "Everybody comes dressed in pink, even the men, and some people bring their dogs."
The event also will feature music and refreshments provided by the merchants of Plaza Bella, raffle prizes and drawings.
There also will be an area to honor cancer survivors who will receive a special gift.
A longtime board member of the American Cancer Society, Creager donates all the funds raised from the event to the cancer society or the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research. Walkers can choose which of the two organizations will receive their donated money.
Last year’s event attracted 300 participants and raised $22,000.
“It is so wonderful to see all these people come out and give their support for this cause," said Creager. "So many people have been affected by this disease, and I am so touched by the personal stories that I hear as a result of holding this event.”
For information, call 813-685-9494.