Local Face Painter Shares Talents at LUNG FORCE Run/Walk to Spread Awareness about Lung Cancer and Honor Her Late Father

Valarie Joy Winkleman shares her personal connection to lung cancer, and how she plans to honor her father by painting faces at the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE event

Valarie Joy Winkleman is half of the sister duo of Peachy Palette Face Painting in Charleston, South Carolina. She and her sister, Courtney, have shared a passion for the arts for as long as they can remember, a talent that runs in their family, as their paternal grandmother is also an artist and the one that introduced them to face painting. 

On October 15, Winkleman will be donating her time and talents painting faces for the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE Run/Walk on Folly Beach. The 5K Run/Walk is a celebratory and welcoming event that provides critical funds for lifesaving lung cancer research, early detection initiatives, local programs and resources and awareness outreach to vulnerable communities. 

Participants of the event can run, walk or stroll a 5K on the beach beginning at the Dunes House at Folly Beach County Park. This year’s event has something fun for the whole family including a light breakfast, pumpkin decorating, a photo booth, turquoise costume contest with custom tutus made by Folly Beach resident, Glenn Webb, raffle baskets and face painting by Valarie Winkleman.

“My sister and I travel across the Lowcountry and love to meet new, smiling faces! Someone told us about the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk, and soon after we were invited to attend and paint faces,” said Winkleman. “I felt led to support this cause, as my dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and truly never gave up.” 

After two tough years of battling lung cancer, Winkleman’s father, David Winkleman, took his last breath. “My dad was absolutely my biggest fan, and while we miss him dearly, I strive to honor him and his courageous journey,” shares Winkleman. “I'm excited to paint faces with unique LUNG FORCE designs at the event and support those who are also advocating for loved ones. There is power in numbers, and together with the American Lung Association we will stand strong for lung health,” said Valarie. 

“Someone is diagnosed with lung cancer every two and a half minutes,” said Margaret Ann Youngs, development director for the American Lung Association in South Carolina. “But there is hope. More Americans are surviving lung cancer than ever. The lung cancer survival rate has increased to 25% and awareness of the disease has steadily increased. The American Lung Association has funded more than $22 million in lung cancer research and over 45 new lung cancer treatments have been developed since the inception of the LUNG FORCE Initiative. It's so amazing to see Lowcountry residents come together each fall for the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk. Together, we’re turning small steps into bold strides to end lung cancer.”

The American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE initiative unites people across the country to stand together against lung cancer, the leading cancer killer. Through education, advocacy and research, LUNG FORCE works to provide hope to all those impacted by the disease and save more lives.

Money raised at the LUNG FORCE Run/Walk will fund the American Lung Association in South Carolina’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, through local programs, advocacy efforts and research.

Registration for the Charleston LUNG FORCE Run/Walk on October 15 is $30 for adults and $20 for children. For more information and to register, visit LUNGFORCE.org/Charleston.   

For more information, contact:

Jill Smith
[email protected]

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