The 12th annual Steppin' Out in Pink event saw a record number of participants, with breast cancer survivors walking alongside families and supporters.
While each person is needed to make the Gundersen Memorial Foundation event a success, there is always one individual that goes above and beyond to help beat the disease.
The Paula J. Tower Memorial Award honors a Coulee Region resident who continuously works toward Steppin' Out in Pink's vision of a world without breast cancer. This year the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care and Gundersen awarded Tomah resident Kathy Steinmetz this honor.
Steinmetz is a four-year breast cancer survivor, who volunteers in several capacities for the organization, and raises funds throughout the year. Her Team Special Kathy also has 30 members that walk the event each year, with that number continuing to grow.
Since the event started in 2006, Steppin' Out in Pink has raised more than four million for local breast cancer research and programs.
"The Paula J. Tower award was established to honor Paula Tower’s legacy and to remember the difference just one person can make. Paula was a mammography technologist who worked at Gundersen for more than 16 years. In July 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her body surrendered to the disease in 2007."