Shoe store New Balance Portland, owned by Gimre's Shoes of Astoria, has donated 100 pairs of New Balance shoes to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a national non-profit group that raises funds to fight breast cancer.
Owner Peter Gimre said the shoes go to the group's top Oregon and southwest Washington fundraisers of 2007, who raised money for the annual Komen Portland Race for the Cure.
Gimre said he and Race Manager Kyle Camberg brainstormed ideas on how they could reward extraordinary fundraising efforts.
"Those 100 people alone raised $287,000," he said. "That's 25 percent of all the fundraising dollars for last year's race."
The donated shoes are from the New Balance Race for the Cure Collection, and feature the signature pink ribbon emblem that has become a familiar logo for cancer-fighting efforts. Gimre estimated the total retail value of the donation at about $10,000.
"It's a token of our appreciation," he said. "We're not making anything on it, just looking to contribute to people who went above and beyond for a worthy cause."
Last September marked the 16th year for the Komen Portland Race for the Cure. The event, which kicks off at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and winds through the Pearl District and downtown Portland, is the largest annual breast cancer fundraiser on the West Coast, and featured more than 45,000 participants many of them breast cancer survivors.
The 2007 Portland race raised a total of $2.94 million. Three quarters of net proceeds go to fund Oregon and southwest Washington efforts in cancer education, screening and survivor support; the remaining monies fund breast cancer research.
New Balance is also a big contributor; the company donates up to a million dollars each year to the fight against cancer.