Cancer is a formidable foe. But that didn’t stop more than 1,000 Oklahomans from taking strides, literally, toward a cure on Saturday at the Putnam City Cancer Classic.
It was a chilly morning in a new location, but participants braved the conditions, raising approximately $15,000 for cancer research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
The event, which was held for the first time at Wheeler Park in Oklahoma City, featured a 5k and a one-mile “fun run,” continuing the long relationship between OMRF and Putnam City Schools in the fight against cancer.
In addition to funding research, the run also celebrated the 100th anniversary of Putnam City Schools.
“We were certainly pleased with this year’s turnout,” said run organizer Jason Hasty, who manages Putnam City’s Carol M. White Physical Education Program and serves as district chair for physical education. “All the schools in the district do their own things to raise money for cancer research throughout the year, and the race offers a great opportunity for everyone to come together as a community for a common cause.”
And that common cause has become a long-standing tradition. The $15,000 raised at this year’s event brings the total raised by Putnam City schools to nearly $3.3 million since the school district began fundraising for OMRF in 1975.
In addition to purchasing laboratory equipment and supplies, the cancer drive established the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research at OMRF, which is held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
“The Putnam City schools have chosen to fight a difficult and worthwhile battle with us against cancer and it’s a partnership we value greatly,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott. “We continue to admire their dedication and thank them for the part they’ve played in finding treatments for this horrible disease. There are answers out there, and the impact of a gift like this cannot be undervalued.”