OWINGS MILLS, Md. - There are just five days left before the Komen Race for the Cure and teams all across the state are gearing up for the big day.
One of the biggest and most successful teams is from Garrison Forest School in Owings Mills.
One major way they raise awareness is with what they call the "tree of hope."
There are hundreds of touching and powerful messages on a tree on the Garrison Forest School campus. It is trimmed from top to bottom with words of encouragement or remembrance.
Melissa Hyatt, Team GFS co-chair and parent, says, "There's a teacher that lost her mother to breast cancer so she wrote her name on the ribbon so it just depends. Some of the kids it's just about awareness and some of it's a little bit more personal."
But students did not stop with the tree. Aside from getting a break from their usual uniforms to go pink, there are many other ways they showed their support.
Students designed and put together a quilt. The fifth graders also lead the campus wide Change for the Cure Change Drive, raising more than $800 in just the lower school.
Team GFS as a whole has a lot to live up to this year. Last year they were the top school team in the state, raising $15,000.
Among those on Team GFS and running on Sunday is science teacher and cross country coach, David Berdan. He has brought school spirit, excitement and dedication to breast cancer awareness to new levels.
Berdan has won the race the past four years. But he says it's not about crossing the finish line first, it's all about supporting survivors and people still suffering.