Vonda Welborn's Pink Ribbon Port Fest 2012 to be held Oct. 6
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD - Within the past three years, $95,000 has been raised to benefit cancer patients throughout Brevard.
This has been largely due to Rockledge resident Vonda Welborn's efforts in organizing the Pink Ribbon Walk since 2009, an event that has been held in conjunction with the Port Canaveral Association's annual Port Fest.
As a tribute to Ms. Welborn's work, and to continue raising funds and awareness for local breast cancer fighters, this year's event was named Vonda Welborn's Pink Ribbon Port Fest 2012.
"I stepped down earlier this year as the executive director of the Port Canaveral Association and from organizing the walk," Ms. Welborn said. "I'm 70 years old now - I'm tired. But it is quite an honor that they are bestowing upon me, by choosing that name for this event."
Vonda Welborn's Pink Ribbon Port Fest 2012 will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 6, with a Pink Ribbon Walk at Milliken's Reef at Port Canaveral, beginning at 9 a.m. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.
Ms. Welborn said she incorporated the walk for breast cancer into the annual Port Fest because "everybody knows somebody who has had or dealt with breast cancer."
"I felt we needed to create more awareness in the county to allow these people to find help, and to let them know that there are entities that can help them to find support and a cure," Ms. Welborn said.
Following the Pink Ribbon Walk, the Port Fest will showcase various businesses that make up Port Canaveral. Port Fest will feature restaurants that make up the "Flavors of the Port;" live entertainment by Merritt Island-based band Vintage; street vendors; arts and crafts; a peel-and-eat-shrimp contest; and the 9th Annual Bed & Bathtub Race, in which teams of four race to push one person, in either a bed or a bathtub, across the finish line.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Space Coast Cancer Foundation, which aims to assist cancer patients and their caregivers by offering transportation for chemotherapy, financial assistance, and even local oncology education and research support, among other services.
"Though Port Fest was started to show people what businesses have to offer in the Port, the businesses want people to know that they also care about the residents in this area as well," Ms. Welborn said. "They aren't just here to do business."
Although Ms. Welborn said she is humbled that the Canaveral Port Association named the event in her honor, she feels that the importance of Vonda Welborn's Pink Ribbon Port Fest 2012 is all about the cause.
"The greatest reward is meeting the women and families I've met," she said. "To know that I've given back to these people in the county who needed help - it's just a very rewarding feeling. We have some great people here in Brevard."
For more information about Vonda Welborn's Pink Ribbon Port Fest 2012, visit www.visitportcanaveral.com or call (321) 514-8657.