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'Walk to fight cancer' raises hope

October 6, 2005

By LEIGH SHARPS

Reprinted from the Record Enterprise (Link opens in a new window.)

PLYMOUTH - And walk they did!

The weather was perfect and emotions ran high during Saturday's Sixth Annual "Keeping You, Me, and Memories Alive" Walk for Cancer.

The walk, which began at noon and ended at midnight encircled the PSU field in front of the Field House, was hosted by PSU in sponsorship with several other local organizations.

Luminaries decorated with names of those striving to beat cancer and those who have succumbed lined the walkway and by nightfall, both sides of the walk were lit with luminaires. More luminaries spelled out "Hope" on the grandstand.

PSU faculty, students, high school students and residents joined in the "at your own pace and time" walk to raise funds to be used for local cancer patients only, not for research. "Keeping you" board President Reine Fischler and board member Nancy Comeau emphasized all funds are kept for local use, "We can help with fuel bills, grocery cards, a delicious meal, transportation to a doctor's appointment, Christmas gifts, food baskets, electric por phone bills; all the little things we can do to make life easier for the cancer sufferer," said Comeau. She said they helped a man last year whose septic system had been broken for months.

Comeau said it was heartening to see the Community of Caring from Plymouth High, the honor society and sports teams join in the walk Saturday after their games were over. PSU sorority, Delta Zeta, was also highly visible during the walk. A spaghetti dinner donated by the Common Man was an afternoon highlight as were the several bands, karoake, face-painting and other family-related events that took place during the day. All who raised $50 or more received a Walk to Fight Cancer 2005 tee-shirt.

Fischler said up to 400 participated in the walk, but as of press time she wasn't sure how much was raised.

Fischler opened the day with a welcoming speech introducing board members and volunteers and explaining how the walk began. "It is a special day for all of us, but most extra special for the Merrill family: Jim, Courtney, Brian and Melissa. Melissa Merrill, while a student at PSU started the "walk" six years ago when she lost her mother to breast cancer. Members of the Counseling Center and student representatives decided to honor Joan Merrill's memory by having a "walk." Each year PSU honors Joan Merrill's memory by giving scholarships to students who have been touched by cancer."

Fischler thanked all the volunteers and board members: Nancy Comeau, Diane Tillotson, Kathy Melanson, Lindsay Melanson, Theresa Davis, Cindy Leverone and student representative Katie Saraiva.


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