With the house built, it's time to fill the rooms.
In years past, Panerathon served as a fundraiser for construction of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown.
The center was the dream of Dr. Rashid Abdu that began with a promise to his wife, Joanie, who died in 1993 of breast cancer. This past fall, it opened.
Approximately 2,000 people participated in the 2011 Panerathon. This year, proceeds from the the 10K / 2-mile walk / run will go to a new program called Joanie’s Promise. Joanie’s Promise would ensure that all women in the Mahoning Valley would have access to the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, regardless of income.
This year, the 10K / 2-mile walk / run will turn its attention to a new program called Joanie's Promise.
"Joanie's Promise is that all women in the Valley will have access to the services provided here at the center," said Juliane Dulay of the Abdu center.
"The program ensures that all women in the Mahoning Valley have access to the Joanie Abdu center. This could mean she's uninsured, underinsured or living in poverty," said Lori Shandor of the HMHP Foundation, which works with Covelli Enterprises for the event.
If you go
WHAT:?Panerathon 10K / 2 Mile Walk / Run
WHEN:?10 a.m. Sunday
WHERE:?Covelli Centre, 229 Front St., downtown Youngstown.
HOW?TO?PARTICPATE:?Pre-registration deadline is Thursday for all mail-in forms and online registrations. Register online at
Pre-registration fees: $20 for the 2-mile and $25 for the 10K
Day-of registration fees: $25 for the 2-mile and $30 for the 10K
Shandor said the other part of Joanie's Promise is to have a community educator, who will go out into the community and help people understand the importance of annual screenings. She said insured or not, early detection is the key to survivorhood.
Shandor said Panerathon's fundraising goal this year is $200,000.
"I think it's a great community, and it's (the race) grown by almost 1,000 each year. I really think we have a good shot of making it," she said.
Part of that community includes Ted Rupe, owner of Gopherarun, a business that puts on running camps, handles events such as the Peace Race and promotes running in general.
Rupe, of Cortland, will handle the results at the finish line, but he practically has his own community involved.
"Our family is kind of a family that loves running," he said.
His middle son, Eric, at 19 last year, came in second in the 2-mile event. The person who beat him, Andy Morgan, is married to Rupe's daughter. The daughter, Rochelle Morgan, also ran in that event, which included 2,000 people.
Rupe's brother Chris, who turned 50 the day of the race last year and coaches track at McDonald, won his age category in the 10K. Ted Rupe's wife, Michelle, did the same in her age category for women. Finally, Craig Rupe, at 25, placed fourth overall in the 10K.
Ted Rupe said with the 2-mile and the 10K, two great races are put on simultaneously.
"It's just a great thing to have for our Valley," Rupe said. "There's a great social aspect to it as well."
Liz Follet, regional marketing director for Panera Bread, said that Panerathon is a race, but they'd like it to be more of an event.
"Most people care to come out less for the exercise and running but more because they believe in the cause," Follet said.
Although they do get some "really high-profile and hard-core runners," she said organizers want to make Panerathon for everyone.
So new this year is the Panerathon Kids Run, a quarter-mile run free for kids 12 and younger.
"We want to encourage the kids to get involved in the cause and feel like they have their own event," Follet said. "Every kid that participates gets a goodie bag, T-shirt and a gold medal just for participating."
They've also expanded the kids zone for this year, and it will include a helicopter and fire truck to explore.
Also in the post-race activity area will be a misting tent and massages available for runners and a special tent for survivors. The Red Cross will be on site with some of their therapy dogs.
"We're hoping people will stick around for more than just the race and kind of just enjoy the community feel of the event," Follet said.
Last year, Darleen Carey of Warren was a walker in the 2-mile event.
"I live on the same street as Sam Covelli, and a number of the neighbors were going to walk," she said. "I'm a breast cancer survivor myself."
Carey, 66, said she was amazed at the number of people involved.
"It was a very nice experience. They know what they're doing there,"she said.
Ted Rupe said everyone is welcome - walkers, runners, young and old. And not only is it fun, but the "freebies" for participants are considerable.
"For the entry fee, people get a lot for what they're paying," Follet said. "One-hundred percent of the fee goes to cause - the bag comes from Covelli and HMHP."
Rupe said he's proud to be part of the whole thing, and he also was impressed with the "freebies."
"You get more back than you put into it," Rupe said.
No doubt in more ways than one.