For the second year, the Cancer Concern Center is honored to have been selected as an official Bronze Charity Partner for the New Jersey Marathon at the Shore. The race, on Sunday, May 5, winds its way from Monmouth Park in Oceanport to Pier Village in Long Branch.
As a Bronze Charity Partner, the Cancer Concern Center, of Point Pleasant Beach, is organizing a running team for the New Jersey Marathon at the Shore and raising funds through the event. Runners can participate in the full marathon, half marathon, or half marathon relay (with two people running about 6.5 miles each). Non-runners can help the Cancer Concern Center raise additional funds by volunteering their time at the Health and Fitness Expo (May 3-4 at Monmouth Park).
Last year, Team Cancer Concern was comprised of 29 runners and 58 volunteers. The team raised approximately $25,000 for the Cancer Concern Center. This year’s goal is to double that amount because $50,000 would cover a full year of operations at the center.
Team Cancer Concern is led by Heather Keefe of Point Pleasant, Lisa Montalbano of Point Pleasant Beach, and Kim Prytherch of Point Pleasant.
Keefe is a public relations consultant, grant writer, and Board Member for the Cancer Concern Center. Montalbano is the Cancer Concern Center’s office manager, supervising daily operations, programs, and fundraising. Prytherch was a member of Team Cancer Concern last year and organized a Barking Mad for Breast Cancer bingo fundraiser that benefitted the team. Keefe and Prytherch each will run the half marathon, while Montalbano will supervise volunteers during race weekend.
In addition, Team Cancer Concern is supported by Surviving for Shore, an organization where Jersey Shore families and friends come together to share their love of sports and athletics during or after a cancer diagnosis.
Surviving for Shore was founded by Ocean County residents Tina Kennis and Michele Reimer. Kennis is a longtime supporter of the Cancer Concern Center, having organized many fundraisers for the center over the years. As cancer survivors themselves, Kennis and Reimer recognize the inner passion that is stirred inside a cancer survivor when she takes her health and wellness into her own hands as an athlete.
Kennis and Reimer ran the half marathon relay with Team Cancer Concern last year, and they are returning for this year’s event. Surviving for Shore has “adopted” the Cancer Concern Center as its charity of choice; as such, Kennis and Reimer are encouraging other runners to join the team as well.
According to Montalbano, “I’m so proud of how our team did at last year’s New Jersey Marathon, and we couldn’t wait to return this year! We’re thrilled to have the support of Surviving for Shore and new runners. The more, the merrier!
“The New Jersey Marathon provides a unique way for the Cancer Concern Center to raise money, build public awareness, and secure new supporters,” Montalbano continues. “The marathon does not take a percentage of the donations and is extremely helpful to small non-profits.”
Montalbano points out that, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, it’s even more critical for the Cancer Concern Center to raise funds through the New Jersey Marathon.
“The Cancer Concern Center has two major fundraisers a year – the New Jersey Marathon in the spring and a dinner dance in the fall,” Montalbano notes. “But immediately after Sandy, our dinner dance had to be canceled, so thank goodness we have the marathon as a means to raise funds and operate our programs in 2013."
On a year-round basis, the Cancer Concern Center (1101 Richmond Avenue) provides support groups, journaling, meditation, nutritional counseling, yoga, and wigs to adults with cancer who live in the Point Pleasant area. The Cancer Concern Center is run by local volunteers and is not affiliated with any national organizations. It does not charge any mandatory fees for its services. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the Cancer Concern Center seeks funding to expand its support groups to local residents most affected by the storm – even if they don’t have cancer.
As Montalbano explains, “The Cancer Concern Center has been providing emotional support in Point Pleasant Beach since 1998. It’s what we do. After Sandy, we knew there was no way we’d turn away anyone who needed support – cancer or not. Sandy devastated our community, and we know there’s a long road ahead of us for rebuilding and regaining our lives. As a result, donations to the Cancer Concern Center help cancer survivors but also local families that will need our support for some time.”
In order to reach its $50,000 goal, the Cancer Concern Center is seeking Business Sponsorships in increments of $500. Sponsors will be recognized on Team Cancer Concern running shirts and promotional materials.
For additional details on supporting Team Cancer Concern as a runner, volunteer, or sponsor, please contact Lisa Montalbano at the Cancer Concern Center (732-701-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Heather Keefe (908-773-3361 or heather.keefe@ mac.com). Team updates are posted regularly on the Cancer Concern Center’s Facebook page. Details about the race itself are available via njmarathon.org.
The mission of the Cancer Concern Center is to provide emotional support and wellness programs to women and men affected by cancer. The Cancer Concern Center was the first non-profit to offer support services to adults with cancer in Northern Ocean County. It is a member of the Ocean Medical Center’s Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. All contributions to the Cancer Concern Center are tax-deductible and utilized for local cancer support programs.