Marathoners wrap up worthy "crusade"
All around, it was a day of triumph.
The Park City Crusaders, a team of Park City runners who came together to raise money to benefit the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the Salt Lake Marathon in honor of beloved community member Dom Lewinsohn all finished successfully Saturday morning.
Lewinsohn was treated at the Institute for squamous carcinoma or cancer of the nasal passages, It is the only medical centers in the Intermountain West that treats his type of cancer and offers the very careful surgery required to give him a prosthetic nose after he lost his own during treatment.
Even more of a victory was the fact that the Crusaders, who had originally set a goal of raising $5,000 for the event, were able to raise about $20,00 through online donations, as well as additional funds through a garage sale and a special dinner at Buona Vita.
"We doubled our goal. It was a amazing," Lewinsohn.
Lewinsohn was on hand at the end of the race to welcome his team with his one-month-old baby boy, Marcus, and wife, Olivia.
Parkite Lori Kun, Huntsman Cancer Institute employee and the program director of Hometown Heroes, the charitable arm of the Marathon that the Crusaders team ran under, said she was amazed at the hard work that the Park City contingent put in to raise money for the cause.
"The team’s success is due to strong leadership," Kun said. "Dom also provided incredible inspiration."
The Crusaders were one of the top fundraising teams and also one of the smallest. Team leader, and the creator of the Crusaders, Sherry Weaver, said that the fund raising was the hard part and with such great results, she was able to focus fully on doing well in the marathon. She also said that such much of the success was due to the generosity of Park City.
"We had a lot of community support. A lot of people promoting our team helped," said Park City Crusader Dave Wilcox. "We have the easy job. We don’t have to fight cancer."
The marathon was still difficult. The Crusaders joined a field of 11,000 runners in 90 degree heat and still managed to finish in between four and six hours. Many of the team members were first-time marathoners and cancer survivors themselves.
"It was tough, but it was satisfying, there’s nothing like that sense of accomplishment," Weaver said.
Running in her first marathon, Julie Gallant said that inspiration kept her going throughout the race.
"From mile one to 26, I had a person that got me through each mile," Gallant said.
Donations can still be made to the Hometown Heroes by logging onto http://www.active.com/donate/Huntsman/1Sweaver.
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