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Women Inmates Find A Way To Walk "For The Cure"

Saturday 350 women will come together to take part in what's called a Komen Columbus Race for the Cure "shadow walk." It's where a group of people who cannot be at the race next week walk it somewhere else. WOSU reports on this unusual team. "We were thinking about a charity that would be well deserving of you know our efforts and whatever we were able to raise. And we couldn't think of a better cause than cancer," 50-year-old Iris Burt said. Burt is president of LIFE Group, a women's organization in Marysville that participates in community service activities like the shadow walk. But do not expect to find this group in the phone book. Burt is an inmate at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. She's serving up to a life sentence, as are all the women of LIFE Group. "We make up fliers and we put them up around the institution asking people if you would like to donate for this cause. If you donate for the cause, which was $15, we try not to make it too high; in return we give them the T-shirt so they can also support us in our walk. It's something we're able to do together as a unit," Burt said. Three-hundred-fifty inmates registered. The final donation amount? $5,400. Inmate Tangela Taylor, who is LIFE's treasurer, said the turn out does not surprise her at all. Taylor said the women always look for ways to help out - inside and outside the prison walls. "It just means a lot that I can do something that could affect so many people," Taylor said. Ginine Trim is the warden. Trim said the inmates are doing more than just helping a great cause, she says they're promoting pro-social behavior. "And by that I mean they can show empathy and show how important it is to support human health issues and focus," Trim said. Komen Columbus has had shadow groups before. Last year, a group of local soldiers in Afghanistan shadowed the race. But how did Komen Columbus react when a women's prison called wanting to support its cause? "We were really touched." Bekah Thomas speaks for Komen Columbus. "It's wonderful. It's really an incredible thing they've been able to get organized and get everyone involved. It is a really large team. We do have over a 1,000 teams this year and they really range all sizes so I would say this is definitely one of the larger of the pack," Thomas said. And Thomas said the inmate group is also toward the top of the fund-raising list. This is not LIFE group's first significant fund-raising event. The women raised $15,000 for Haiti earthquake relief efforts. LIFE group president Iris Burt said thinks the Komen Columbus shadow walk will become a regular event. "Absolutely, absolutely. I may not be president next year, but I'm going to be there for the support," she said.