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Local Event Increases Security After Bombings



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This upcoming Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer, and as of Wednesday, 6,200 people have signed up to race to fight the disease.

“We have over 500 volunteers that have signed up to help with this race and we have all of our staff helping the day of to help coordinate everything," said Missy Keiper, Annual Giving Coordinator at the Avera Mckennan Foundation.

However, this year will be a little different.

Not only will hundreds of volunteers be present to make sure the event goes smoothly, so will extra security, as new safety measures are being put in place to prevent a tragic incident like last month's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

“We have security measures taken care of for this race each year and we are also taking extra safety precautions this year in light of some of the circumstances that we've seen," said Keiper.

One of the biggest changes that participants and spectators can expect this year is the restriction of backpacks allowed at the race site. This is a new change that is a direct result of the bombings.

“We are working closely with the city and police to make sure we are taking the extra steps and we've worked with them closely on this in light of what has happened. We have gotten suggestions on what we need to do, so this is just a new change that we've looked at just to see what we can do to make sure things are going to be safe that morning for all the participants,” explained Keiper.

Even though people are asked not to bring a bag of their own, they will still get one to take home with them.

“We actually give away drawstring backpacks to participants so we are encouraging participants to feel free to bring their drawstring bags this year to the race. We just want people to be cautious about bringing backpacks," said Keiper.

While security may be a little different this year, the reason for the race stays the same: to fight breast cancer.

All backpacks that are brought to the race may be subject to a search.

There will be a designated drop off area where you can leave your belongings if you don’t want to leave them in your car.






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