The Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has named Kerri Colvin Ballas as the chair of the Pittsburgh 2013 Race for the Cure.
A resident of Indiana, PA, Ballas is the first chairperson for the Pittsburgh Race hailing from outside of Allegheny County. This year’s race will take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, on Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park, Oakland.
A six-year breast cancer survivor, Ballas became involved with Komen in 2007 when she first ran the Pittsburgh Race with friends while she was undergoing chemotherapy.
“I was hooked on hope and on raising money for Komen,” Ballas says. “Raising awareness and funds for Komen gave me the opportunity to fight back and help other women.”
Now, Ballas and her team, Paint Pittsburgh Pink, participate in the race every year and continue to raise more money each year. For the past three years, Ballas has been a member of the Pink Honor Roll, comprised of the Komen Pittsburgh Affiliate’s top 25 individual race fundraisers.
“The best part of fundraising for the Komen Pittsburgh Affiliate is that 75 percent of the funds remain in our area to help women in the 30 counties served by the Pittsburgh Affiliate, including my home county of Indiana,” Ballas said.
At home in Indiana County, Ballas and another survivor, Tara Wiltbank, have been honored as local heroes during the IUP women’s basketball Shoot for the Cure Classic. Ballas has co-directed the event for the last three years, and it has raised more than $80,000 since its inception eight years ago.
Ballas and her husband of 19 years, Joseph, also hold fundraising parties at their restaurant, the Ironwood Grill, featuring a local band, silent auctions and prizes. Ballas and her husband have a daughter, Blair, and a son, Connor.
For Ballas, speaking about her experience with breast cancer and raising awareness is an essential part of her life. As she says, “I can’t imagine not doing it.”
“We are honored to have Kerri serving as this year’s race chair,” says Kathy Purcell, chief executive officer, Komen Pittsburgh. “She has dedicated so much of her time and talent to supporting the fight against breast cancer and now we are excited to have her bring her enthusiasm and spirit to this year’s Race for the Cure.”
For more information about the Komen Pittsburgh Affiliate or the 2012 Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure, visit www.komenpittsburgh.org.