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Record turnout for Spielman run

Perfect weather and a great cause contributed to the 11th Annual Stefanie Spielman Walk/Run for Breast Cancer Awareness being the largest one yet at Ohio Northern University.

More than 200 participants laced up their sneakers this year to kick off Saturday's Homecoming festivities with the 2.5 mile run/walk around the Green Monster to raise money for cancer research.

“Breast cancer affects a lot of people. Almost everyone has been affected by it in some way, either they themselves or a friend or family member. And so it’s nice to start off Homecoming supporting a good cause like this,” said event organizer Emily Gaborcik.

The Spielman Run/Walk is sponsored jointly by Kappa Epsilon, the ONU chapter of the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Alumni Office. Gaborcik expects Saturday’s event will raise more than $3,500 for the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Ohio State University.

Pharmacy students were well represented in the run, with the top men’s and women’s finishers coming from the college. Fifth-year pharmacy major Chris Ulrey was the top overall finisher and second-year pharmacy major Sara Sheerer was the first woman to cross the finish line.

“A majority of the students out here today are pharmacy majors so I think it shows how committed our college is to health and making things better,” said Sheerer.

But the race attracted more than just students. Friends Natasha Kaufman and Rhonda Schultz of Waynesfield, Ohio, and Heather Featheringham of Cridersville, Ohio, formed “Team Lisa” in honor of a friend who recently lost a five-year battle with breast cancer.

“She was an amazing person. She always had the biggest smile, even when she was fighting the disease. I always have her in the back of my mind,” said Kaufman.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 35 and 55. Events like the Spielman Run/Walk bring awareness to the disease that affects so many.

“It’s something that every woman should think of,” said Kaufman. “When you see that one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, I don’t know how you cannot think about it.”