McALLEN - The Love Your Cha Chas Pink Explosion 5K race celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Saturday October 5, 2019 at Tres Lagos real estate community.
The race was inspired by JoAnne Perez, 5K event coordinator after losing her mother, Celia Perez in 2008 and her sister, Sandie Perez in 2009 to breast cancer.
The first race-walk that prompted JoAnne to start her very own, was participating in the Susan Komen three day 60-mile race in November 2009.
“My sister was in hospice and I told her that I wanted to participate in the Susan Komen walk,” said JoAnne Perez, 5K event coordinator. “And she was excited for me and asked ‘when is it?’ and I told her November and she knew she wasn’t going to be here so I told her I was still going to do this for her and of course she was happy for me.”
The first race Perez coordinated started with 125 participants and has grown over the years. She now has quadruple digit participants even selling out, which required a change of location.
“From the first year 125 participants, to the second year 200-something, the third year it went to 400 and by the fifth year we were at 800,” said Perez, 5K event coordinator. “When I got to the sixth and seventh year I had to start capping it at one thousand.”
The 5K has been held at Edinburg’s Doolittle park and Perez’s mother’s neighborhood. This year it was held at Tres Lago’s real estate community with the help of Cindy Trevino, Tres Lagos representative.
JoAnne’s main message to the participants and RGV community is that “early detection saves lives.”
“I love it a lot and it’s for a great cause,” said Perez. “It has inspired a lot of men and women to be proactive and bottom line for this race, is that early detection saves lives.”
Love Your Cha Chas 5K Pink Explosion 10-year anniversary featured mariachi’s, Sonic lemon-lime slushies, a favorite of Sandie Perez, cake at the finish line and of course a special finisher’s medal.
“I made it a two-year series medal because it’s my mother and sister’s 10-year anniversary,” said Perez. “The medal from last year is a key that represents my mother and connects to this years heart medal representing my sister. The key actually sits in the heart and means they’ll always have a key to my heart.”
All proceeds made will go towards the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and DHR Health Renaissance Cancer Foundation.
Perez will participate in the Susan Komen race-walk again this year in honor of her sister’s 10-year anniversary and would like to thank best friends, Jessica Torres and Becky Ramos for their hard work. She also thanks Sonic Co., Edinburg Girl Scouts Service Unit volunteers and Cindy Trevino for contributing their time and efforts in supporting the Love Your Cha Chas Pink Explosion 5K.