On Saturday, Nov. 11, hundreds of runners and walkers from across the state will gather at Oklahoma City’s Wheeler Park to take steps to eradicate cancer.
Putnam City Schools’ annual Cancer Classic has become a key component of the district’s annual fundraising efforts for OMRF.
When Jason Hasty organized the first Cancer Classic in 2008, he really didn’t know what to expect. He said he just didn’t want it to cost Putnam City Schools anything if it failed.
“I was already running in at least one event a month myself and started to think, ‘Why can’t we do this at Putnam City?’” said Hasty, the district’s physical education coordinator and event organizer. “With the number of teachers, students, family, and alumni we have, I thought for sure we would be successful—and we were.”
The event will feature two races to benefit research at OMRF, a nonprofit biomedical research institute. First up is a 5K beginning at 8:30 a.m., followed by a one-mile fun run at 10. For the third straight year, Wheeler Park will serve as the venue along the Oklahoma River just south of I-40 and Western.
Cost for the fun run is $15 per person, and the 5K is $30. All participants will receive an event t-shirt. Donations will be accepted, even without participation in the walking or running events.
“We can’t say enough about how important the Cancer Classic has become in such a short time,” said OMRF development associate Caroline Allen. “It’s a great example of how an event can pull an entire community together behind a common cause. Cancer has touched all of us in one way or another, and it puts the power in our hands when we can all come together to do something about it.”
Since 1975, Putnam City Schools have donated more than $3.5 million to OMRF. In addition to purchasing laboratory equipment and supplies, the cancer drive also established the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research at OMRF, held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
“It’s amazing how fast 10 years goes by, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished, maintained, and grown since that first event,” said Hasty. “I’m excited to see the turnout on Nov. 11 and what we can achieve in the next decade.”
To register or find additional information, please visit www.pccancerclassic.com.