Faces of the Race: A team effort



FACES
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Shown before the start of last year’s Fit for Families 5K Run/Walk are some of the members of the Belknap Landscaping team who helped raise money for LRGHealthcare and those who are battling breast cancer. From left to right are Priscilla Colburne, Thomas Stern, Andrew Morse, Jennifer Vassillion, Dale Squires, Kate Driscoll, Lucas Van Vught and Gerry Dubreuil. Other team participants were Bo Cash, Danny Makely, Mark Smith and Cathy Squires. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
August 10, 2011
TILTON — On Sept. 24, hundreds of people from around the Lakes Region will be hitting the road again in the third annual Fit for Families 5K Run/Walk to promote healthy lifestyles and raise money for LRGHealthcare's fight against breast cancer.

When the starting gun sounds, employees of Belknap Landscaping will be among the ranks, as they work to stay fit and help raise money for the cause.

Marketing Director Dale Squires said it is the second year the company team will take part in the run, and he hopes other companies in the area will step up to the challenge and join them in the fight against cancer.

"As part of the Belknap Landscape participating team, we get to tell others — clients, suppliers, and friends of the company — what we're doing to help raise funds for LRGHealthcare," Squires said.

Team member Gerry Dubreil said he, like many he knows, has had family members who battled the disease. Helping raise funds to defeat breast cancer is the least he can do, he said.

"Just about everyone knows someone who has suffered from breast cancer. For Tanger to organize something like this to try and do something about it is just phenomenal, and I'll be certainly happy to get out there and walk it," Dubreil said.

Andrew Morse will be rejoining the team again this year, but at a much quicker pace, as he looks forward to running the course around the J. Jill industrial complex, up Sanborn Road, through Vista Heights and back to the outlet mall.

After last year's run, Morse said he learned more about the cause, and has been inspired to find other ways to support the search for a cure. He has run in four other races since last September, and hopes to improve his time in this year's race.

Morse said he would like to challenge others to come out and join him.

"This has really brought our community together for a great cause, and it's so well-run. I'd like to see more of my co-workers, friends and peers in the (landscape) industry come out to help raise even more money this year," said Morse.

For Jennifer Vassillion, cancer is a personal subject, and she does all she can to support cancer research, participating in Tanger's Fit for Families challenge, as well as a memorial motorcycle ride and the Payson Center's Rock 'N Race in Concord.

"I lost my dad four years ago to cancer, and so I do all of this in his honor,"

Vassillion said.

She also has an aunt who underwent a double mastectomy 13 years ago, and she and her co-workers want to do all they can to help support the search for a cure. The Fit for Families race is at the top of their list of community endeavors they support.

"Cancer sucks. That's why we all get out there to do these walks," Vassillion said.

Last year, nearly a dozen people from Belknap Landscaping registered for the race, raised even more money through donations from suppliers they work with, and gave up their Saturday morning to stretch their legs with more than 400 people from all around the Lakes Region.

Squires said he would like to challenge companies around the region to form a team and walk or run side by side with others for a good cause.

"We're challenging those folks to join in, sign up and give up a morning to help others. We hope to push the participant levels to more than 500 people this year, but it will take other local companies to get there," Squires said.

Entry fees are $20 per person, and the first 600 people who register will receive special race packages with tee shirts and other tokens of appreciation, said Tanger Outlet Center general manager Eric Proulx. Registration forms are available at the outlet center or online at www.tangeroutlet.com.

Proulx is optimistic that this year's fundraiser will be even an even greater success as more people discover how easy and fun it can be to support those locally who are battling cancer.

Look for more Faces of the Race in coming weeks as we count down the days until the Fit for Families 5K Run/walk in September. If you or someone you know would like to tell others why you will be participating in this event, please drop us a line at echo@salmonpress.com and we'd be happy to spread the word.

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