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Toasting the cure at fund raiser

For those who have been impacted by breast cancer, support and fellowship is a treatment that can be just as vital as cutting edge care.

Sandy Foster, owner of Village Pizzeria in East Galway, should know. And as an eight-year survivor of breast cancer, she has been using her business to support both aspects of cancer treatment and did so again on Monday, Aug. 10, by holding a wine tasting event in the elegantly decorated backyard of her restaurant to benefit the cause.

The money raised will allow her and three other women to participate in this year's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York City and will go toward finding a cure for and increasing awareness of what many acknowledge as an epidemic among women.

On Monday, the team raised over $6,000, bringing its total for the year to $21,000 and meeting its ambitious goal. Members held a similar wine tasting in June.

The Avon Walk is a worldwide event. In New York, participants will walk 39 miles in Manhattan over the course of two days, Oct. 10 and 11.

The walk itself is wonderful, said Foster. "You spend two days sharing storiesit's so moving and inspirational to see all the support given from one another."

More than 4,500 participated in last year's New York City walk, including 395 survivors and countless others walking in support or in memory of loved ones.

Every walker must raise $1,800 or more. This will be the fourth year Foster has participated, and her teammates, which include daughter Jessica Mancione, have been there before as well. The team's name? "Toast to the Ta-Tas," so named because much of the money is raised through the wine tastings.

Monday's event featured live music, a silent auction and a seemingly bottomless supply of fine wines donated by the distributors who stock Village Pizzeria's expansive cellar. Auction items included wines, gift certificates to the Crystal Spa, a flight with local pilot Dave Lewis and riding lessons at the Stables in Galway.

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