Koehn was one of several dozen participants in McPherson’s annual Pink Line Walk, conducted annually in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Ann Koehn of McPherson held onto the pink fabric tightly. As she walked about four blocks in downtown McPherson Thursday, her thoughts drifted to her mother and her two-year, ongoing battle with cancer. She was one of the reasons Koehn was wearing pink and showing her support of the many local residents who are wrestling with the same issues. Koehn was one of several dozen participants in McPherson’s annual Pink Line Walk, conducted annually in October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every year, attendees hold up a line of fabric in the bold color representing breast cancer. The event is hosted by McPherson’s Women and Children Combating Cancer to show visual support for locals struggling with cancer, and to promote awareness of local financial aid. WACCC provides grants up to $500 through the McPherson County Community Foundation for residents of McPherson County with cancer in need of financial aid. They also provide what they call combat bags, which are care packages containing food, books, beauty products and toys for women and children. To promote awareness, the walk ended at Main Street Plaza, where a local band was playing for McPherson’s monthly Main Event. Once there, WACCC members informed attendees of their organization and what’s available to McPherson County residents. Koehn is the vice president of WACCC. “It makes you feel good,” she said of the event and the organization’s mission. “It’s great to see the community come together.” WACCC has given 20 combat bags to local residents with cancer. “That’s why I keep doing it,” she said. “It gives people hope and support they didn’t know was out there, to see the smile on their face and let them know they’re not alone. We’re not there physically all the time, but there are people in the community thinking about them and praying for them.” Support like this is appreciated by many who have been touched by cancer. Susan Geren of Galva is battling cancer and was uplifted by the experience. “Ever since I’ve gotten diagnosed, there’s been so much support,” she said. “It’s overwhelming.” The Pink Line Walk kicked off the fiscal year for WACCC. Although it wasn’t a fundraiser, the group is planning several in the coming months, including a pajama party in February and a Farkel tournament in March. “(Cancer) touches so many lives,” Angie Timson, WACCC treasurer, said. “To show support for those affected or lost is important. I’ve seen what people go through fighting for their lives. It’s a way to show there are others that care and want to help.” One hundred percent of the money given to WACCC through the McPherson County Community Foundation stays local and goes directly to families. To obtain an application for aid or to receive a combat bag, call 620-245-9070.