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Climb for Cure makes a successful return

A group of Climb for Cure hikers at the Gunstock Summit. (Courtesy) (click for larger version)
September 28, 2011
With the Second Annual Climb for Cure underway at Gunstock on a warm and sunny Sunday this past weekend, coordinator Sharon Wells said the event was going as strong as ever.

"You can't stop," said Wells. "Just like fighting cancer, you can't stop."

Wells lost her young son, Nicholas Palisi, in 2005, while he was in treatment for a Medulloblastoma brain tumor . He became her inspiration for Climb for Cure.

"It's the way my son gives back," said Wells. "Once you lose your child, you want to make a difference."

This year, funds raised went to Joey Sawyer, a young Gilford resident currently undergoing cancer treatment, and to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI).

Wells promised to keep coming back every year with Climb for Cure, and continue donating to local families affected by a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment and research facilities.

"When a community or family is hit with childhood cancer, it becomes real," said Wells. "Unfortunately, I've lived it."

With help from the community, Climb for Cure continues to raise funds and bring hope to those fighting childhood cancer.

Local outdoor groups and ski clubs have joined in to help make the annual event a success, and this year, Gilford Junior Girl Scout Troop 10304 joined in the Climb. They helped coordinate the event by giving information and selling raffle tickets, as well as participating in the hike.

According to Jenifer Eldridge, mother of a member of Troop 10304, the girls volunteered as part of their community service effort. She added that they couldn't have asked for better weather for the event.

Wells invited Jonathan Auerbach, guitarist, singer and songwriter, to provide entertainment as hikers returned to the base lodge. Auerbach donated his time and talent to the cause, and offered three of his albums for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Climb for Cure.

Auerbach was pleased to help out, as it coincided with his efforts to "merge music with the cause." He was happy others like Wells were joining in the fight against cancer.

"She is a ray of hope on the caner front lines today," said Auerbach as he wished Wells luck with the Climb for years to come.

Auerbach said he worked for the past eight years donating and raising money for cancer research. According to Auerbach, he has raised more than $75,000, and continues to work with the music therapy program at DFCI.

About 100 people came to Climb for the Cure this year. Wells thanked those who climbed, and all businesses that gave to the event, including Granite State Physical Therapy, North Country Tractor, Laconia Savings Bank, Pike, Insurance Outlet, Shaw's, Hannaford, Planet Fitness, Annie's Cafe and Catering, Patrick's, Loon Mountain, MC Cycles, Gunstock Mountain, German

Motor-sports, Outdoor Adventure Fitness and Body Covers.

Wells will be back with Climb for Cure next year, and hopes to eventually expand the event to larger mountains. She encourages all to join in the fight against childhood cancer. Anyone who would like to make

Varney Smith
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