WILKES-BARRE — Juanita Krieger sported a pair of shiny pink high heels on Saturday.
She didn’t wear the shoes for a formal event or a spin on the dance floor, but in memory of her sister, Rosalie Eby, at the 17th Annual Candy’s Place Rainbow Walk.
The event is a fundraiser for Candy’s Place Center for Cancer Wellness, a non-profit organization, supporting those battling cancer and their families.
Krieger organized one of seventeen teams, “Rodi’s Rooters,” participating in a 2.5-mile walk, beginning at Kirby Park. Almost 400 participants sported specially designed T-shirts, held colorful balloons and enjoyed the musical offerings of D.J. Simko.
The atmosphere was festive and positive.
“My sister would have loved the event. She was very courageous during her 20 year battle with cancer,” said Krieger. “She lived long enough to raise a wonderful son.”
A smiling Krieger looked down at her pink shoes and added, “She also loved high heels, and I plan to walk the whole 2.5 miles in them.”
The event provided opportunity for participants of all ages to walk the course at their own pace.
Joe Onzik walked for a second year with granddaughter Kendyl Ann in memory of his sister-in-law, who passed away from the disease.
This year, Kendyl planned to walk the course “on her own,” with Onzik’s arms available if she got tired.
“Its a good cause and they do a heck of a job for those they serve,” said Onzik.
Tom Woodeshick, former Eagles running back, was among participants, enjoying the fellowship and service the event provided.
“Annie’s Angels,” a team organized in memory of mother and grandmother Annie Bealla sported purple T-shirts and held purple balloons in honor of those battling leukemia.
In addition to those who walked, 22 volunteers manned the registration table, provided information and assisted those who participated.
Board member B.J. Ahearn said she was very glad the weather cooperated.
Director Chris Ostroski said she was very grateful to sponsors for making the event possible.
Candy’s Place in Kingston was founded in memory of Candice Vincent-Mammary, who passed away in 1998, hoping her experience in battling cancer could somehow benefit others.
Yoga, massages, facials and exercise classes are offered, as well as educational presentations, free to cancer patients and their families. Others can also access center services for a nominal fee.
“Often Candy’s Place simply provides a place to gather with others who understand what you are going through,” said Ostroski. “It fosters a great spirit of camaraderie.”
Those wanting more information about the Candy’s Place can call 570-714-8800 or access the website at www. cancerwellnessnepa. org.