More than 850 runners participated in the eighth annual Putnam City Cancer Classic earlier this month. With each step, they helped raise nearly $12,000 for cancer research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
The Nov. 14 event featured a 5k and a one-mile “fun run,” continuing the 40-year relationship between Putnam City Schools and OMRF in their combined mission to eliminate cancer.
“We couldn’t have picked a better day for it, and we were thrilled again to see so many people show up for a good cause and get outside for some fitness,” said event coordinator Jason Hasty, who manages a federal physical education grant and serves as physical education coordinator for the district. “We have now raised more than $100,000 total for OMRF’s cancer research in the brief history of this event, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow in the future.”
The run has become a cornerstone in the district’s fundraising efforts for OMRF, which has included everything from bake sales to soccer tournaments over the years.
Since 1975, the district has raised more than $3.3 million to support OMRF’s ongoing endeavors in cancer research. Their consistent giving has enabled the nonprofit biomedical research institute to purchase lab equipment and supplies and establish the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, now held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
Research from Thompson’s lab led to the world’s first genetic-based risk assessment test for breast cancer.
Other cancer work at OMRF includes a clinical trial for an experimental treatment for glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, for which there is currently no cure. OMRF scientists are also looking at promising new therapies that could potentially target specific tumors directly without harming surrounding healthy tissue.
“The Putnam City Cancer Classic is a blast,” said Thompson. “This is another example of a perfect partnership between OMRF and PC schools. The run benefits the participants, as well as OMRF. Even the weather cooperated. I can’t wait until next year and to see how it continues to evolve.”