Fourth annual Earleen Fox Memorial 5K Walk/Run Oct. 6
By Greg Buckner
Staff Writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST BRANCH — Entering its fourth year, the Earleen Fox Memorial 5K Walk/Run is scheduled for Oct. 6.
According to event founder and organizer Pam Fox-Hilts, this year’s walk/run will begin and end at Diebold Insurance Agency in West Branch.
Fox-Hilts said the event is in memory of his sister Earleen Fox, who died from breast cancer in 1994 at the age of 45.
“Because she was so young, we just wanted to hold an event in her memory to let the community be aware that cancer can affect anyone at any age,” Fox-Hilts said.
After her death, Fox-Hilts and Earleen’s two daughters, Raychelle Wood-Trout and Betsy Trout, wanted to help honor Earleen while helping to raise money for treatment and research and to educate people about breast cancer.
This year, Fox-Hilts said in addition to raising funds for the Earleen Fox Scholarship, which goes to Ogemaw Heights seniors who are working toward a career in the medical field, money raised from the event will go toward funding free mammograms for those who can’t afford them.
“These mammograms will mainly be for people who have a family history of the disease,” Fox-Hilts said. “I know in West Branch, there are a lot of people who don’t get mammograms because they cannot afford them. No one should have to go without a mammogram because they can’t afford to have one.”
She said the event helped raise more than $2,000 last year, as more than 50 participants came out for last year's event.
At the race, Fox-Hilts said there will be a booth set up with pamphlets on a variety of subjects concerning breast cancer prevention and treatment.
She said any and all breast cancer patients and survivors are welcome to come to the event, as they will be honored throughout the day.
“We want to welcome as many breast cancer patients and survivors as we can,’ Fox-Hilts said. “We do this for them. They are our inspiration.”
She said she hopes men come out to the event as well, as she said it’s important to remember “men can get breast cancer, too.”
In honor of her sister, Fox-Hilts said the walk/run route will take participants from the agency to the Smiley water tower and back to the agency, as the water tower is near the Pepsi-Cola bottling plant Earleen worked at for 25 years.
“It feels great to hold an event like this,” Fox-Hilts said. “I know Earleen would appreciate it, so we walk by the smiley tower to say hi to her.”
Fox-Hilts said registration will be open the morning of the event from 9:30 a.m. until about 10:15 a.m., with the walk/run beginning at 10:30 a.m.
She said registration costs $20 for adults and children ages 10 and younger can register for free. She also said the first 50 people registered will receive a commemorative t-shirt.
According to Fox-Hilts, both the walk and run will be timed events, with the top three finishers in the male and female divisions of each event will receive prizes.
For more information, call Fox-Hilts at 989-685-2552 or visit www.earleenfoxmemorialrkwalkrun.com/home.