FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 10) -- Six representatives of Fort Belvoir's Plans, Analysis and Integration Office successfully completed the 10th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C., Saturday and Sunday.
Stacie Hill-Good, Chris Johnson, Donna Landon, Kathleen Newell, Tokoya Proctor, PAIO director MaryPat Begin-Ortiz and her daughter Tracie crossed the finish line after walking 39.3 miles.
"We had lots of sore muscles and blisters but what a great team," Begin-Ortiz said.
Begin-Ortiz attributed the success to the inspiration provided by her team members.
"Our hero from the walk was Donna Landon," she said. "What incredible strength and perseverance she exhibited. She would not give up. I also thank Chris for being the loving but firm 'drill sergeant,' running interference between us and Starbucks every chance he got. Staci, Tokoya and Kathleen and I kept each other moving along and laughing; we proved that we are athletes and our team is the epitome of 'Together Everyone Achieves Miracles.'"
Begin-Ortiz also recognized the many people outside of the team who got involved in the effort.
"Special thanks are due to everyone who made donations and supported us -- to Thelma Owens, who surprised us along our walking route to cheer us on, and especially to the wonderful Family members who met us at rest stops and cheer stations, brought us snacks, food, ice wraps, and lots of love and encouragement."
She added that the Walk for Breast Cancer provided her and her fellow participants with a sense of deep pride, appreciation and accomplishment.
"The walk was a special experience for each of us," she said. "We walked with JoAnn Blanks (who passed away in March 2009 following a long battle with breast cancer while serving as the deputy to the Fort Belvoir installation commander) in our hearts and memories and with every step we sent courage and strength to Linda Raskin (who retired in 2011 as Chief of Supply and Services at the Fort Belvoir Directorate of U.S. Army Logistics Management and was diagnosed with cancer soon afterward). We walked for every name written on our banner and for everyone ever affected by breast cancer."
Avon raised $5,000,000 in the D.C. walk this weekend to fight breast cancer.

Editor's Note: Edited by Rick Musselman, Belvoir Eagle Sports Editor, from source material by MaryPat Begin-Ortiz, PAIO director.
Cutline: Photo submitted by Plans, Analysis and Intergration Office
Fort Belvoir Plans, Analysis and Integration Office representatives, (from left), Chris Johnson, Kathleen Newell, Donna Landon, Traci Coon, MaryPat Begin-Oritz, Tokya Proctor and Staci Hill-Good pose for a photo at the finish line of the 2012 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Photo name: 0510avon.jpg