MAYVILLE - For one group during the Fourth of July parade Thursday in the village of Mayville, members walked with a purpose near and dear to all of their hearts as they joined a sea of pink T-shirts along the route.
Over 100 people who are a part of Diana's Warriors marched to remember a vibrant and strong woman whose life on this earth was shortened due to breast cancer. Diana Dorman, along with her family and friends, started up the awareness group five years ago, when there were just 26 supporters.
Dorman, who was the former owner of Snug Harbor Restaurant and Lounge in Mayville, passed away from her disease in 2010 at the age of 48. Jackie Palmer, a member of Diana's Warriors, said the word "warriors" in the name comes from the fact that Dorman was never one to give up, which is passed along to everyone that walks in her honor, including survivors of breast cancer.
OBSERVER Photos by Liz Skoczylas
“Diana’s Warriors Against Breast Cancer” shows their support.
"Ever since her passing, we've just carried on her tradition and her wish," Palmer said.
Diana's Warriors has gathered at the Mayville courthouse ever since 2008 to march in the Fourth of July parade. The group brings many different supporters together and shows awareness and the need for finding a cure. While funds are not actively sought during the parade, Palmer said people do come up to give them cash and help the cause.
"We have so many people that come up to us along the parade route and donate money or shake our hands or are thanking us and telling us we are doing a great job and showing us support," she said. "We had a survivor that came up to us and gave great big hugs to the two girls that carry the banners. They want to get across how much they appreciate us being there for the parade. One lady even told us, 'The one thing I look forward to every year is seeing the pink coming down the road.' That means a lot to us."
Palmer said Diana's Warriors also holds donations and sponsorships throughout the year and actively participates in Relay for Life.
"This group is an ongoing thing throughout the year, too," she said.
During the walk along the parade route, the group marched with Diana's Jeep, along with a custom-made float, beside them. Cheerleaders from the Brocton Bulldogs and musicians from the Harbour Knights joined in on the march for breast cancer awareness, as well. The Knights played a custom-made song entitled "Pink Fingernails," which was written especially for Diana.
For Palmer, the support given to the group has been overwhelming.
She said, "I know Diana is looking down at us with a big smile and saying, 'Those are my Warriors who are carrying on my wish. You all make me very proud to have known each and every one of you.'"
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