Saturday, September 28, was a beautiful day in Forest Park for the Shelby County Cystic Fibrosis Event. Friends, families and neighbors united to fund a cure for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This year there were three ways to participate including the first Meliah’s 5K Run, a retro Bike-a-Thon and the Great Strides Walk for CF. Collectively, 50 volunteers manned the activities, and more than 150 people participated in the event.
In the inaugural Meliah’s 5K Run, 18 people ran and raised $595.00. The run was named in remembrance of Meliah Miller, a former Shelby Memorial Hospital (SMH) employee and sister-in-law to one of the event organizers, Phil Miller, CFO of SMH. Meliah lost her life to CF at the young age of 24.
In Meliah’s Run, the overall best male athlete went to Matthew Entler who had a time of 21:28, and the overall best female athlete went to Catherine Gahl who crossed the finish line at 21:33. The overall masters’ award went to Karen Stirrett who had a time of 27:43.
Participants from six teams, Teams Abbie, Joel, Lexie, Makenzie, Meliah and Stan came together as 122 walkers joined for the second annual Great Strides walk. The walk was held on the beautiful General Dacey Trail. Participants strolled for those currently affected with CF as well as in honor to those lost too soon from the disease. The walk raised $14,135.25.
More than 50 bikers rode hundreds of laps and fundraised $2,485.00. The grand prize went to Joel Brachbill for fundraising $210.00. The Bike-a-Thon raised $2,485.00.
In 1982, Bob and Lana Pancoast decided to strike back against CF after their daughter, Abbie, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. They formed the Bike-a-Thon as the original Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser in Shelby County. The Pancoast family realized the importance of funding research for a cure to the deadly disease. For years, hundreds of children participated, until 2005 when the last bicycle fundraiser was held. Homage was paid to Pancoasts’ tremendous past efforts with the announcement that the Bike-a-Thon fundraiser will be renamed next year as “Abbie’s Ride”.