The importance of Sunday’s fourth annual Colon Cancer Awareness 5K Walk/Run surfaced in many forms at sun-soaked Warwick City Park.
“Keith’s Walking Warriors” – who had 75 pre-registrants and were still tallying participants as of Sunday evening – headline what people like Lori-Ann Raymond said “had to be the largest walk and run we’ve ever had.”
Raymond – a former Warwick Police Lieutenant whose husband Keith succumbed to Colon Cancer in 2010 – and her son Jake, 4, organized Keith’s Walking Warriors and was helped by friends, family and other police departments from all over the state.
“And thank you to so many friends who donated online but could not be with us today [Sunday],” Raymond went on. “But we know you were with us in thought, spirit and prayer. We’re proud to win the award for the Most Members on a Team [100 plus, according to officials] but more importantly, it was so amazing to see so many family and friends at one place in time to honor Keith and to share his day with Jake and myself.”
Marika Kraus came from South Windsor, Conn., to show her support for the Alliance in memory of her father, who lost his battle with colon cancer. She created chills on the hot and humid day when she sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem.
And the jam-packed area of City Park where the race and walk began and finished was filled with the sound of hands clapping once the traditional “Balloon Release” was held.
Barbara Joyce, who founded the Rhode Island Colon Cancer Alliance, is a cancer survivor who lost her husband to cancer on June 30. She stood under a tent smiling and watched what her daughter, Patti Gomm, estimated was a field of over 300 runners and walkers. Add to that an army of volunteers and Sunday’s event was made up of 500 people.
“Donations are still coming in,” Gomm said yesterday. “We will begin tallying all the results this week. But thank you to everyone who helped!”