TORONTO - Organizers are hoping heads will be shaved Saturday to help children with cancer as part of the Campbell-Dickinson St. Patrick Run/Walk, a fundraiser for the Trinity Foundation's Trinity Emergency Assistance Relief Fund.
The Toronto Coalition for Revitalization is sponsoring the race as well as a shave-off as part of St. Baldricks, a nonprofit organization that seeks to find cures for childhood cancer, according to George Komar, coalition president.
"We raised about $4,700 for St. Baldrick's through last year's shave-off," said Komar, adding this year's shave-off will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the TEMS Joint Ambulance District headquarters, 201 S. Fourth St. "The three of us, myself, (co-organizers) Matt Lewis and Roger Lewis dyed our hair green to raise awareness (for childhood cancer). We will have our hair shaved off that morning.
HOPING TO RAISE MONEY — Richard Lewis, left, Matt Lewis, center, and George Komar dyed their hair green recently as part of a St. Baldrick’s shave-off set to take place Saturday during the Campbell-Dickinson St. Patrick Run/Walk, a fundraiser for the Trinity Foundation’s Trinity Emergency Assistance Relief Fund. All the activities are centered around the TEMS Joint Ambulance District headquarters. - Contributed
"Mindy Jones will be in charge of the hair-cutting," continued Komar, adding if shorn locks are long enough, they will be donated to Locks of Love, an organization that uses the hair to create wigs for children undergoing cancer treatments.
Participants solicit donations for the shave-off, which are in turn donated to St. Baldricks, said Komar. Those wishing to participate without sponsorship can pay $15, which also goes toward St. Baldricks, he added.
This will be the third year for the race/walk, proceeds of which are donated to the Trinity Foundation's Trinity Emergency Assistance Relief Fund, according to Komar.
The event, which includes a 5K course for adult runners and walkers; and a 1K course for kids, is named for cancer survivor Jenny Russlee Dickinson, a teacher in Toronto, and the late attorney William "Pat" Campbell. The Trinity T.E.A.R. Foundation is part of the Trinity Foundation Fund, and the last two year's races have raised more than $30,000 for the fund to help patients undergoing cancer treatments with personal and medical expenses. Last year 800 runners participated, and Komar has said he's hoping for 1,000 runners this year, depending on the weather.
The run/walk, sanctioned by the U.S.A. Track and Field Association, will begin with registration at 9 a.m. at the TEMS headquarters, and a table will be set up for same-day registration, Komar added.
The course is mostly flat, and children begin at 11 a.m., with the adult runners beginning at 11:30 a.m. The adult walkers will begin shortly after. Both first-place adult walkers and runners will receive medals categorized by age and gender, Komar said.
"Those wishing to participate can register online (at www.thegemcity.org) until midnight Thursday," said Komar, adding after that time participants still can register the morning of the race, however, "No more timing chips or T-shirts are available. We will also have a table set up at TEMS for for donations and sponsorships."
Registration is $18 for adults; and $10 for children from ages 1-10; and students from ages 11-18 is $13. Komar said those registering late this week should probably bring registration forms with them rather than mailing them.
Komar also said those participating are welcome to solicit sponsors. Any funds from pledges solicited from those participating should be in the form of a check payable to CFOV Cancer. After race expenses and some funds set aside for next year's race, Komar said the remainder will be split, with 75 percent of net proceeds going to the T.E.A.R. Foundation and 25 percent to the coalition. All donations and pledges are tax deductible, Komar added.
"The Toronto Masons will be offering hot dogs and soup beginning at 11 a.m. by donation," Komar said, adding the Masonic Lodge is next to the TEMS headquarters. "Jenny Dickinson, for whom the race is so-named, held a fundraiser at the Toronto Eagles on Feb. 23 and raised $6,000."
So far 14 teams have registered to participate, and team competition includes two different categories - one is for the largest team and the team that raises the largest contribution, Komar added.
Media partners for the event include the Herald-Star, The Weirton Daily Times, Comcast, WTOV-TV and WCDK-FM. For information, go to www.thegemcity.org or call (740) 544-6439.