Tompkins County residents will stand up against cancer during the 19th annual Cancer Research Center of the Finger Lakes Walkathon and 5K Run, which will take place Saturday at Cass Park in Ithaca.
In the past, the Walkathon and 5K has raised $115,000 from about 700 participants. Event organizers hope for about the same turnout this year, Bob Riter, executive director of the Cancer Resource Center, said.
The Cancer Resource Center makes sure that all of the money raised stays in Tompkins County to provide support services for cancer patients. It offers support groups for women, men, young adults and for patients with advanced cancer, as well as one-on-one support both at their office on West State Street and at Cayuga Medical Center.
The center is run almost entirely by volunteers. Riter said many of the volunteers have had cancer and are looking to give back.
Linda McBride, an Ithaca College professor from 1975 to 2002, said that the support that the center provides her is her motivation to walk.
“This is a local resource for the community and taking part in the support groups that they offer, I hear stories of other people who clearly would not be able to afford the services that the Cancer Resource Center provides were they not free.”
Jackie Wakula, a breast cancer survivor, is walking on a team organized by her daughter. She is also a volunteer at the center, and said the services offered are valuable to cancer patients.
“They provide services that really can’t be found very easily other places in the community, and the money that is raised in the Walkathon stays in this community and helps and aids people who really do need help in their treatment and transportation.”
Riter focused on the importance of the services that they offer.
“We are a local organization, that donations stay in Tompkins County. We’re a real community resource. We serve many people from the Ithaca College community, from the Cornell community, from throughout the town,” he said.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the event begins at 10 a.m. A pancake breakfast will follow.
For more information on the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes or the Walkathon and 5K run, visit www.crcfl.net.