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St. Jude to hold Dodge Park run to fight cancer

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 23, 2015

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Local activists and athletes hoping to end childhood cancer will strap on their running shoes as part of a charity fundraiser in Sterling Heights.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will hold a St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer Sept. 26 at Dodge Park in Sterling Heights. The hospital focuses on treating and beating cancer and other life-threatening diseases that affect children.

Event sponsors include local businesses and media, as well as the city of Sterling Heights and C & G Newspapers.

According to organizers, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. St. Jude senior regional development representative Mairin Watson said the 5K walk/run should attract patients’ families, supportive businesses, longtime supporters and new faces too.

“I think the good thing about this event is it brings out all types of people,” she said. “Some new awareness is always a good thing.”

Watson said St. Jude previously held its local 5K walk at Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights, but this is the first time the charity has added a local running component and held the event at Dodge Park.

Watson said the park staff has been wonderful and helpful.

“You’re always looking for people who are really easy to work with, and Dodge Park has been exactly that with us,” Watson said. “They’re established in the community as a place to hold 5Ks. We have not had a run in the past. We want people to go to a venue where people are used to the path ... so we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

According to Karen Anderson, administrative coordinator at St. Jude, the hospital also raises money through fundraising dinners, golf outings and special events.

Anderson said the walk/run event organizers hope to have at least 1,000 participants. She added that the event has a fundraising goal of around $200,000, and that money would be invested into new drugs and patient treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Our research is freely shared, so any hospital around the country can use our protocol to treat a cancer patient,” she said.

Besides the 5K walk/run, the event at Dodge Park also will feature kids’ activities, a photo booth and Zumba.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will hold its Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer Sept. 26 at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road in Sterling Heights. Registration will take place at 7 a.m., the run will start at 8:30 a.m., and the walk will start shortly after. Registration costs $10 for adults and children ages 6 and older.

Learn more about St. Jude and the event by visiting