Daily news blog for Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood

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Wallingford woman starts “March Forth” to raise money for cancer research

Posted by Kate Bergman on February 16th, 2012

A woman from our ‘hood has been working hard for many months to put on the March Forth Fun Run, a 5k to 10k trek around Green Lake. The event, created by Wallingfordian Holly Westerfield, is a fundraiser for the  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Westerfield says she’s always celebrated March 4th as a day to “March Forth,” and last year she got the idea that it would be fun to celebrate the day with an actual marching band. “The idea kind of grew from there,” said Westerfield. She’s an active volunteer with Team in Training, the fundraising arm of LLS, and has trained for triathlons the past couple years, raising over $10,000 for the oganization. “I decided to make the March Forth Fun Run my fundraising effort for this year’s event instead of asking people directly for donations,” writes Westerfield.

Westerfield says she hopes the event could do more than just raise money for LLS. She hopes it will inform the community of the local organizations that are all involved in curing and treating blood cancers. In addition to the fun run, there will also be cause-related booths at the start and finish line:

National Bone Marrow Registry will be signing up volunteers for the donor list and providing info and answers about what it means to donate bone marrow and the huge advances that have happened to make the process as un-invasive as possible.

Locks of Love hair stylists will be donating their time to offer free cuts and styles to anyone wishing to donate their hair.

Puget Sound Blood Bank will have volunteers to sign anyone up for an upcoming blood drive.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is sending a real-live cancer research doctor who is funded by LLS to offer answers of what it means to do cancer research, and where the donation dollars actually go from fundraisers like this race.

Team in Training will have a booth explaining what their program offers for anyone interested in completing an endurance event and raising money for LLS.

Walgreens will have a booth offering free blood pressure checks from a local pharmacist, and will be promoting their new specialty transplant pharmacy in the University District.

Westerfield says she thinks this will be, “a great way for families and friends to have easy access to ask questions about what cancer care looks like in Seattle, how they can individually help, and the impact they are having on finding a cure. Plus it will be a fun race!” She’s right: The Seattle Sounders own marching band, the Sound Wave, will be performing before the race starts, and host John Curley will be the emcee.

Westerfield says kids will be able to participate in a free “mini-march” before the race.  ”Whole Foods is sponsoring the bagel and fruit tent for athletes, Smith Brothers Farm is providing chocolate milk, Nuun hydration will be providing the water stop supplies, and the Red Cross will be providing medical care,” Westerfield tells us.

The march is on Sunday, March 4, at 9 a.m. To find out more or to register, visit the March Forth site.



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