The 4th annual Pancreatic Cancer Research 5K, held Sept. 24 at Coburn Park in Skowhegan, raised more than $25,000. Raising awareness about the need for more research funding was a focal point of the event, according to a news release from event organizer Jodie Mosher-Towle.

The event took place along the Kennebec River with more than 200 people in attendance. All of the proceeds will benefit The Lustgarten Foundation where 100 percent of the funds are specifically for pancreatic cancer research.

Walkers and runners donned purple T-shirts provided by the foundation, about 20 children participated in the Kid’s Fun Color Run and numerous teams of walkers helped raise more than $5,000 online. One special fundraiser, Susan Tuttle, a friend to Chuck Robbins who past away this spring, went door to door and raised more than $2,000 in his memory.

Redington Fairview General Hospital created a stir with the presentation of the newest addition to their fleet of ambulances when it drove into the park. A huge purple ribbon on each side along with The Lustgarten Foundation logo and all other detailing was in purple. The initial idea was from Barb Demchak, director of EMS who had seen an ambulance that was dedicated to Autism recently by Northstar EMS.

Demchak said, “it was decided to honor of Brian Michonski and Chuck Robbins, because of how much they gave to the Skowhegan community each in their own right,” in the release. Both lost their battles with pancreatic cancer in the past two years.

Without the numerous volunteers, such as CERT, Community Emergency Response Team, of Mercer, Chief of Police Don Bolduc, Charles Robbins, emcee and fundraiser, friends and family of the organizers, outstanding volunteers, participation of Reps. John Picchiotti, R-Fairfield, Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, and Brad Farrin, R-Norridgewock, and the continued generosity of sponsors this event would not be as successful. Damon Wyman of D.W. and Sons Garage in Norridgewock and his family have been walking for years. “We have been here to support the family of Brian because he was a great man and we will continue to support this event,” said Wyman in the release.

“This walk is a great way for our community to continue to raise awareness of this disease at the same raising money for research. Jodie and all the volunteers make this event a huge success year after year,” said McCabe according to the release.

According to the American Cancer Society about 53,000 will be diagnosed while about 42,000 will die of pancreatic cancer this year, including the 200 diagnosed here in Maine.

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