Cancer-fighting 5K plans finalized by Toronto group

TORONTO – The Toronto Coalition for Revitalization is making final plans for the fourth-annual Campbell-Dickinson Bike, Walk and Run, set for March 15.

The event is associated with St. Patrick’s Day, and this year the fundraiser for the Teramana Cancer Center Trinity’s Emergency Assistance Relief Fund also will add bikers as part of the event, according to George Komar, coalition president.

“There are three separate events, and (those participating) decide which one to pick,” he said, adding they include running, walking, and this year, biking. “We also try to hold the event to the closest Saturday to St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 15.”

Komar said because Toronto now has a 15-mile bikeway going into Empire and Stratton – co-developed by the city and the coalition – it was decided to add a non-competitive, 5-mile “fun ride.”

“Last year we wrote a check for $25,300 (for the T.E.A.R. Fund),” said Komar, adding the funds are used by cancer patients undergoing treatments and administered by Teramana’s cancer advocate, Susan Miller. “She can write up to $1,000 per patient for nonmedical needs. (The patient) doesn’t even have to be receiving treatments from Trinity. Susan herself was a cancer patient at Trinity and a four-time cancer survivor, so she understands what it’s like.”

Komar estimates the coalition has raised about $55,000 for the fund in the past three years, and participation has increased each year.

“This year we expect about 1,000 people, if the weather is good,” he said. “This year’s race is dedicated to Noah Long.”

Noah is the son of Dave and Katie Long, and he was diagnosed with leukemia. He’s been undergoing treatments at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. Katie Long is nurse for the Toronto School District.

Komar also is attempting to get different schools and school districts to send teams to participate, and so far the Toronto School District and the Jefferson County Christian School have committed to send teams.

“All starts for the different events begin at the TEMS Joint Ambulance District headquarters at 201 S. Fourth St.,” said Komar.

The bike fun ride leaves TEMS at 10:30 a.m., while the kids’ 1-mile fun walk begins at noon. The 5K walk/run begins at 12:45 p.m., while the awards ceremony will be at 1:45 p.m. at the TEMS headquarters, said Komar. Other activities then will include an auction, drawings and a Chinese auction. Trophies and other awards will be given to those in the competitive events according to age and sex, Komar added.

“Also at 10:30 a.m. at TEMS begins the St. Baldricks shave off,” Komar continued, adding those involved solicit sponsors to have their heads shaved, and funds generated go toward the children’s cancer prevention advocacy organization. “Also, those that have more than 9 inches (of hair cut) or longer can have those donated to Locks of Love.”

Locks of Love makes wigs from hair for children who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments due to cancer.

Same day registration at TEMS begins at 9 a.m. However, those participating can save funds by registering early for the different events, Komar said. For children ages 1-7 it’s $7 to register by March 2. They also receive a free T-shirt. After March 2 registration increases to $10.

For those ages 11-18 registration is $10 by March 2 and $13 after that date. For adults ages 19 and older registration is $15 before March 2 and $18 after that date. Those registering for the walk/run also are eligible for timing chips, and the results ultimately will be posted on a website, Komar said.

“We are certified and sanctioned by the U.S. Track and Field Association,” he said, adding teams in all events are welcome to participate.

The idea is for all those involved in the different events to solicit sponsorships for their participation, raising more funds for the T.E.A.R. fund, Komar said. He added those in the Trinity School of Nursing program will be acting as volunteers.

Pre-registration forms are available for download at for a $2 cost; or at; and paper forms are available at the Toronto Post Office; Fourth Street Toronto Kwik King; Riesbeck’s grocery store in Toronto; the Toronto YMCA; the Steubenville YMCA; the Teramana Cancer Center; and the Historic Fort Steuben, Komar said.

He noted Jenny Dickinson, a Toronto teacher and cancer survivor for whom the race is co-named, will host a fundraiser at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Toronto Eagles Club.

Checks are payable to the TCFR Cancer Relief Fund and should be mailed with an entry form to TCFR, P.O. Box 121, Toronto, OH 43964.