When: Sun., June 3 2012
“It’s a feel-good event and a wonderful celebration of cancer survival,” says Ben Light about today’s 12th annual Race for the Place in Beachwood. The event — a one-mile walk and a 5K run in the area around Beachwood Place mall — always takes place on National Cancer Survivors’ Day. It’s a major fundraiser for The Gathering Place, a non-profit cancer support group that provides free services to patients and their families at centers in Beachwood and Westlake. “I’ve been involved since 2005,” says Light, Gathering Place’s director of operations. “That year we probably had 700 participants and raised $30,000. This year we’re expecting more than 3,500 participants — walking, running, pushing strollers, or carrying kids on their shoulders — to raise close to $350,000.” The fun begins at 8 a.m. with the opening of Celebration Village, complete with a balloon clown, jugglers, a roving magician, and more family friendly entertainments. An 8:45 a.m. survivors’ ceremony features local sports anchor Jim Donovan. At 9, walkers and runners step off from the upper level parking deck between Nordstrom and Dillards. Then it all wraps up at 10:30 a.m. with an awards ceremony. “There’s so much hope and so much positive energy,” marvels Light. “It’s a great community feel.” Teams or individuals are welcome. Adult registration is $30 for the run or $25 for the walk; teens are $20 or $15; and kids ages 6 to 12 are $13 or $10. The first 3,000 registrants snag a tie-dyed t-shirt. Prizes, including a $1,000 Beachwood Place gift card, are available to top fundraisers. Register online or by phone.