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Locals get moving for a cancer cure


Orin Pierson / Petersburg Pilot

More than 150 people participated in the race as did several dogs, kiddos in strollers and political hopefuls. Raingear came in handy as steady rain fell throughout the race.

Runners and walkers turned out en masse for the 15th Annual Beat the Odds Race for a Cure on a drizzly Saturday morning. Marlene Cushing, co-chair of the Beat the Odds committee, said she estimates 160-200 people participated.

The race is one of two main events held each year as a remembrance of friends and family members who have passed from cancer as well as a celebration of those who've beat it. It's also a major fundraiser.

"Over the years we've raised over $116,000," Cushing said, adding that they're still tallying the figures from this year.

That tallying can be a big job since it includes individual and business donations. In town Papa Bears and Java Hus each donated a portion of their sales from race day.

Orin Pierson

PHS distance runners Ethan Cummins, Daniel Holmberg, Ian Fleming, Kyle Hagerman and Tucker Hagerman were the five fastest finishers in Saturday's race.

The funds raised are used to support cancer patients, especially to off-set travel expenses for treatment.

"There's three different travel funds in Southeast Alaska that help people pay for travel expenses, airfare and hotels and we contribute to all three of those funds," said Cushing.

Funds are also used for prevention efforts.

"We just helped pay for a two-day workshop for people at the medical center on end of life care," Cushing said.

Women who can't afford mammograms, an important prevention measure against breast cancer, can also apply for funds to cover the expense.

Cushing said the race was originally a part of October's breast cancer awareness month and has since been expanded to include all forms of cancer. She attributes the success of the event to participants, sponsors and the committee members.

"We just have tremendous community support for this event," Cushing said.


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