We’re less than a week away from quite possibly my most embarrassing moment ever. Maybe even a career-ending broken ankle.
Barbara Sciandra’s vision of a more interesting Paint Pittston Pink culminates with not only a pink Susquehanna River, but a baker’s dozen of grown men running through the streets of downtown Pittston making fools of themselves, wearing high heels.
Thirteen local men will take to the streets following Paint Pittston Pink’s Color Me Pink 5k and Caped-CUREsader Family Fun Walk on Saturday, Oct. 3 to help raise money for the Pennies in Action Fund at The University of Pennsylvania. The event is called the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Gentlemen’s Dash. Participants include Ed Ackerman, John Adonizio, Michael Callahan, Patrick Cosgrove, Jay Duffy, Jarrett Ferentino, Marty Jordan, Russell Keeler, Luke Matthews, Dr. Chris Sanders, Sal Sciandra, Brian Stahl — and me.
The event, expected to take place between 11:45 a.m. and noon, will begin following the race, which is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Here’s the catch: Each participant has been tasked to raise money for his “dash.” The individual who raises the most money will be given the flattest pair of shoes. The rest of the participants, however, will wear some schnazzy high heels. I asked Barb if I can wear the glass slippers, but she said they’re reserved for Cinderella.
As of Thursday, Sept. 23, the group of men has raised $6,315 for cancer research — you read that right! I’m proud to say that I’ve raised $860 thus far. But this isn’t over yet. My man Jay Duffy is currently in the lead with $1,735. By no means is this a contest. In the end, all money goes to one place — a place that will help all of us one way or another.
Barb has asked each of us to run the race in honor or memory of someone. Personally, breast cancer does not run in my family. I have had family members pass with different types of the disease, but not breast cancer. After doing some digging, however, I learned my distant cousin is a breast cancer survivor.
I will be “dashing” for Liz Cope. Liz is a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard who currently works at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. I can’t promise her a win, but what I can promise her is that we will all do our best to help raise as much money as possible for breast cancer research.
Over the past few years, I stopped running on a consistent basis. That doesn’t mean I’m not in this to win it. The only thing I’m worried about is Barb giving me a sexy pair of heels and me rolling my ankle. Try covering a Friday night football game on crutches — that would be painstakingly impossible, I’m sure.
I’ve recently participated in several events in the public eye. I was a player on the Joes basketball team which played against the New York Giants at Pittston Area High School. I also participated in a game with the Harlem Ambassadors at Lake-Lehman High School.
When my counterparts and I line the street after the 5k, we will try to win — try to heel past one another. Originally, the idea was an actual mile. Since then, the course has been cut to the length of a football field. Still, getting 10 first downs will be no easy task.
So here’s my plan:
Step one is smack talk — all in fun, of course. I may right now be looking up information about my opponents’ personal lives to get a one-up on them, much like pro football players do. OK, I would never do that, but should the smack talk start early, I’ll have to improvise.
As soon as the gun goes off, my brisk walk may slowly turn into a slight gallop testing my ankles and heel-running stability. I’m proud to say I’ve never worn high heels but sometimes I wonder if I should because my girlfriend and I are about the same height.
I’m sure all of us men will be neck and neck after the first five yards. After that, it’s a crapshoot. There’s still time to vote! While you’re helping one us to get the flatter shoes, you’re also helping a great cause.
All donations can be made online through the Race Roster website. There, you can find our Team Page and donate to anyone you wish. You can donate to Jarrett Ferentino or maybe Russell Keeler. Really, it doesn’t matter. You can even donate to my page.
See you there! I’ll be the one with a nervous look on my face and my ankles wrapped.