Twenty women walking around the woods 11 years ago quickly turned into a 300-person charity event that defines Mother's Day in Roxborough.
Benefitting two breast cancer charities, the Roxborough Mother's Day Walk/Run will continue May 13 starting at 8 a.m.
Roxborough resident and personal trainer Jackie Ashenfelter used to work at and taught fitness classes. Women there began participating in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer walk in Philadelphia, but Ashenfelter said people wanted something a little more local.
"Let's take our money for Susan G. Komen but do our walk here, and send it in as a group," she said.
Starting at on Rector Street, the walk/run is approximately 5 miles long and heads to Forbidden Drive and Valley Green, before returning back to Roxborough.
More recently, Ashenfelter and co-organizer Maureen Pownall got even more local with it.
"We began working with Friends Helping Friends with Breast Cancer. We're walking local, let's raise money, too, for a charity that helps local women that are battling cancer," she said, explaining that the local group helps pay for nonmedical expenses, like transportation and babysitting—things insurance wouldn't cover.
As Ashenfelter now teaches senior fitness classes at Journey's Way, she also added a senior portion to the walk. Now there's a half-mile, two-lap walk around Kendrick Recreation Center.
"With our older neighbors volunteering and walking, it's really added to the event. They're even going out to the Roxborough High School track to practice now," she said.
The event's growth is due to scores of people, Ashenfelter said.
"Maureen, I roped in three years ago. Now, lot of people from the area pitch in. It's a group effort," she said. "It all comes together on Mother's Day morning."