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UAW Local 685 Women’s Committee Makes a Difference During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Photographer / Jason Graves

Women’s CommitteeEvery year the UAW Local 685 Women’s Committee is dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, and 2021 is no different.

“It’s about the awareness, and it’s about making sure women are keeping up on their mammograms, doing self exams and stuff like that,” says Tammy Mohr, committee chair. “If you can catch it early, you’ll survive. It’s about saving lives and saving women from having to go through what these women have to go through.”

With a slew of breast cancer awareness events happening throughout September and October, the committee will again host its 5K Walk on Saturday, September 25. Registration for the walk will take place at 1 p.m. at Foster Park, and the walk will begin at 2 p.m. A performance from Southern Rock Authority will also take place at 6 p.m. in Foster Park, with food vendors and a beer garden on hand. All proceeds from the event will go to Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo Cancer Center.

According to Mohr, the committee first started doing a breast cancer walk eight years ago.

“The Cancer Society moved out of Kokomo and went to Indianapolis,” Mohr says. “They wanted us to come down and do their walk in Indianapolis. We have all three shifts going all the time, so we did not have time to do that. We thought, ‘We’ll just do our own walk,’ and it exploded.”

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the committee had to change things up in 2020, hosting an outdoor concert with no walk, with guidance from city officials.

“Because of COVID, we had to be really careful,” Mohr says. “We couldn’t have it at the seniors center of course because it’s packed in there. If you had some lady who was going through chemotherapy or something, that’d be terrible.”

In 2021, however, the walk is back by popular demand. Alongside the walk, the committee decided to continue with the outdoor concert, bringing back Southern Rock Authority for another year.

“Everyone still wants the walk,” Mohr says. “This year we’re doing a whole day for breast cancer.”

After experiencing some unfortunate cold weather at last October’s concert, the committee decided to move their annual walk to late September in hopes of better conditions.

Women’s Committee“We decided to move it up to the last Saturday of September to kick off Breast Cancer Month,” Mohr says.

In keeping with tradition, the committee will also have several other events throughout September and October to support breast cancer awareness, including a money drive that they call Brawl for the Bra. Each year, the winning plant in this Brawl for the Bra competition is awarded with a special traveling bra trophy, which they keep at their plant for the following year.

“Each plant does a collection for breast cancer,” Mohr says. “The company lets us be at the gates when people come in, and everybody who donates gets a ribbon that day at that plant. They can give a dollar or whatever they want to do. Whatever plant raises the most money gets the bra for that year. It stays at their plant.”

On October 8 the committee will also host a special event featuring the Pink Heals fire truck.

“That’s when we’ll be doing the fire truck pull, and Country Palace will be doing line dancing in the street,” Mohr says. “That night, when we leave there, the fire truck goes straight down to the Country Palace, and they do a night for breast cancer at the Country Palace.”

For Mohr, all the work the UAW Local 685 Women’s Committee does in spreading breast cancer awareness holds personal significance.

“My mom’s sister died of breast cancer,” Mohr says. “That’s when I got involved. When it really hits home, you realize what it’s all about.”

In addition to raising funds for Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo Cancer Center, this work done by the UAW Local 685 Women’s Committee brings women together, which is ultimately what it’s all about.

“Sometimes it’s not so much the cure as it is being able to talk to women who are going through the same thing,” Mohr says. “I think that’s the most important thing, the common thread and being able to talk to other women – knowing people that are supporting you and thinking about you while you’re going through it.”

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