County Fare: The warmer weather has its benefits
Warmer weather and longer days make for ideal conditions for outdoor benefit events.
This Friday is the annual Relay for Life walkathon event of central and southern Berkshire County to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington.
Thirty-eight teams and 387 participants have already raised $39,767.14.
The Northern Berkshire Relay for Live event was held on May 30 at Noel Field in North Adams. There, 53 teams and 555 participants raised $125,298.37.
Adams native Mark St. John will pass through his hometown on Saturday to mark 1,455 miles on his 2,185-mile journey on the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness and funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), as part of the MMRF Team for Cures.
St. John is taking on the 5-month-plus journey in honor of Paula Guerin, his friend of 20 years who lost her battle in 2011 to multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. Paula’s husband, David M. Guerin, was Mark’s high school classmate.
Mark attended Adams schools and college in the area. His father, Edmond St. John Jr., served as a state representative, senator, and was a longtime attorney for the town. Mark St. John’s brother, Edmond St. John III practices law in the Adams.
"I believe that no matter how difficult it may be to traverse these 2,185 miles, it will never compare to the battle that Paula and others like her endure daily," Mark St. John wrote on his fundraising page. He has a goal of raising at least $10,000. So far, he’s raised more than $6,250.
Mark St. John started the hike in Georgia on March 13. The trail will take him to the top of Mount Greylock on Saturday. He will be joined for this portion by Alicia O’Neill, MMRF endurance events program director.
There have also been several other successful fundraisers for various causes.
n On June 7, 10-year-old West Stockbridge resident Carly Sturgis joined the national Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s "Lemonade Days" campaign to raise funds and awareness about childhood cancers.
This year, 2014, marks the 10th anniversary since childhood cancer fighter and the foundation’s namesake, Alexandra "Alex" Scott, challenged the nation to raise $1 million toward finding cures, by selling one cup of lemonade at a time.
Carly Sturgis has been a champion for this charity, raising more than $900 over the past three years. Carly’s mom, Jenna said this year, Carly raised $712.10 -- $185 from online donations and $527.10 from the physical stand.
"We had beautiful weather and a great turnout," Jenna Sturgis said.
Learn more about this campaign at alexslemonade.org.
n Dale Pike said that the great weather and a great turnout also helped support the May 17, "Great Strides" charity walk for cystic fibrosis awareness and funds. Locally, the annual event is organized in support and honor of Pike’s granddaughter, Kileigh Elizabeth. She was born in August 2009, and diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was a week old. The disease affects the lungs and digestive system, and is life-threatening.
Learn more about year-round efforts to support Kileigh at kileighscure.com.
n More than 60 walkers participated in National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County’s ninth annual Minds Matter Walk for Mental Health Awareness at last month’s Third Thursday event in downtown Pittsfield, coinciding with Children’s Mental Health Awareness month. The event raised more than $10,000 for the organization, which provides information, referral, classes, workshops, support groups and advocacy to family members and caregivers of people living with mental illnesses throughout Berkshire County.
Amy Alexander raised more than $1,300 and was awarded the prize for the most funds raised.
For more information about NAMI Berkshire County, visit namibc.org or contact Brenda at (413) 443-1666.
County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.
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