Two groups of St. Paul seniors raised about $4,300 to fight cancer and help kids last weekend through the Beating the Odds 5-kilometer run/walk event Saturday and a basketball 3-on-3 tournament Sunday.
Ashley Smith, Melissa Kijowski, Caity Fitzgerald and Victoria Sparr spent several months organizing the 5-K event. They signed up 196 people, not counting the kids in strollers or the dogs that also completed the course at the reservoir, and raised about $4,000.
All ages showed up for the event, from babies in strollers to senior citizens. A large group came from the Western Reserve district in support of Denise Wolfe, who currently is battling cancer.
A light rain blanketed the area while the girls and the 25 other students they had signed up as helpers set up tents and signs, but it didn't dampen their enthusiasm. By the start of the race at 10 a.m., the weather was cool, but dry perfect for a run or walk.
Derek Mathieu won the race in 19:21 and Cameron Crum, a sophomore at St. Paul, came in second at 19:25. The first two women finishers were St. Paul junior Stephanie Dankleson in 24:06 and Ashley Dellinger in 24:11.
The last walker crossed the line at just over an hour. Anyone wanting more information on the race can contact the organizers at Beatingtheodds2008@yahoo.com.
After finishing the course, many of the contestants and their supporters took time to eat the fruits and water available at the end of the course and just visit with each other.
Brian Preston and Brian McLaughlin organized a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the St. Paul Convocation Center for St. Paul students. They raised about $300 with 15 teams participating.
The boys will donate the money a foundation to provide sporting goods for young people started by Patty Ringholz, who died from cancer last week. She was the wife of Monroeville football coach and teacher Steve Ringholz.
"We were going to donate it to a generic society like the American Cancer Society," said McLaughlin, "but with her recent passing we thought that would be good to do in her memory because she is a member of our community."