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Fundraisers aid cancer patients

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Phyllis Clark, left, receives help from Kristin Baker on Friday as she paints a snowman for the Painting For Cancer Support event at Prodigy Transitional Rehab in Tarboro.

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Monday, October 16, 2017

An upcoming run is being held to help financially assist residents of Edgecombe County actively being treated for cancer.

The fifth annual Run For Your Life 5K and Fun Run is a Halloween charity race for the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation. The race will start at 9 a.m. Oct. 28 in Tarboro. The foundation was started in 2011 by Vidant Health’s Dr. Mark Petruzziello. 

The cancer fund is administered by a group of volunteers dedicated to helping Edgecombe County residents diagnosed with cancer. Petruzziello’s wife, Pat, is the race director of Run For Your Life. Petruzziello said she expects more than 250 people to participate in the run, with people coming from Rocky Mount, Nashville, Wilson, Greenville, as well as Tarboro.

The goal of the run is to raise $25,000, and 100 percent of the money raised will go to the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation, Petruzziello said. This year, Petruzziello said, instead of the run beginning and finishing at the Town Common, it will start and end on Main Street in downtown Tarboro at the Tarboro Brewing Co.

“Everyone is so incredibly supportive of this event, and we believe we’re going to have more people participating because with this being our fifth year there are more people familiar and want to put this on their calendars,” Petruzziello said.

Petruzziello said there are other local fundraising events helping to raise money for the run. Martin Millennium Academy’s students brought spare change to school for its Walk to School event that will be donated for Run for Your Life.

In addition to donating $250 to the charity race, Prodigy Transitional Rehab held an event called “Painting For Cancer Support” on Friday at the rehabilitation center. Several long-term nursing home residents painted different holiday-themed wood door hangers. Macclesfield native Kristen Baker, who is known to sponsor paint parties, helped the residents decorate the door hangers.

Crystal Hill, director of marketing for Prodigy Transitional Rehab, said the 25 paintings will be auction off to the highest bidder through the company’s Facebook page. The bids will run through Friday and the highest bidders will be rewarded paintings. Hill said the goal is raise a minimum of $500 to to Run For Your Life.

Tamika Wilson, a resident at Prodigy Transitional Rehab, who painted a colorful pumpkin with the words blessed across it, said she was proud to participate in a worthy cause.

“It takes a lot of assistance from others to help those in need,” Wilson said.

Rita Boddie, who is also a resident at Prodigy Transitional Rehab, said cancer has affected her family. She had a uncle who died because of cancer. Boddie painted a picture of a Christmas tree with ornaments on it and hopes someone will purchase the paintings that will go to help the Edgecombe Cancer Support Foundation.

“I think the people that are helped by the funds raised, it increases their hope and faith, and it’s so very important to help people that are struggling,” Boddie said.

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