LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Steppin Out in Pink was back with a bang this year as more than 4,000 participants brought energy to Riverside Park on September 9th.

About a month later, Gundersen Health System officials discuss the impacts the event has. Gundersen Medical Foundation Chairman, Stephen Shapiro, says, “There’s an impressive outpouring of community support for the work we do here at the Gundersen Health System. It’s the patient care support. It’s providing early detection. It’s providing access to the Norma J. Vinger Breast Center and also to fund endowments to do research into perpetuity to prevent suffering from breast cancer.”

Olivia Moths, Philanthropy Program Coordinator at Gundersen, adds, “Steppin’ Out in Pink means celebration; remembrance. It means community involvement. And like I said, just really celebration of a whole bunch of work being done to improve the lives of many people right here in our community.”

Gundersen has many local sponsors who helped out with donations. Shapiro says, “Vendors like MOCA who have got behind us with pink drinks building up to the event. So, the money comes from all sorts of places, and I think that just shows the broad support and confidence people have in our health system.”

Moths says, “We have so many incredible sponsors. It’s amazing to see all these businesses and individual donors in our communities step up to help our organization help our patients. We have 55 very generous local sponsors, and that number seems to grow every year.”

This year’s event raised just over $400,000 and all of the donated money will stay within Gundersen to help with cancer care. Moths explains, “Every dollar that is raised through Steppin’ Out in Pink stays here; it doesn’t go anywhere else. And I think that’s what makes stepping out in pink a really unique event. And that’s what makes Gunderson Medical Foundation really unique as an organization.”

Officials say out of the total amount of money raised this year. $50 thousand will be transferred to the Paula’s Purse Cancer Patient Fund and $100 thousand to Gundersen’s Kabara Cancer Research Institute. There is still time to donate and you can do so at