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BRIDGTON, ME – March 5, 2016— Mary’s Firemen for a Cure™ will once again host the organization’s annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser at Shawnee Peak Ski Area in Bridgton, Maine on March 5, 2016. The event will feature the 13th running of the exciting firefighters’ race along with the second installment of the Friends of Mary Race, which allows anyone to enter a team. WTMW Channel 8 will return this year as the event’s official media sponsor.
Over the past 12 years, Mary’s Firemen has raised over $150,000 for the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The firefighters’ ski race features races between departments from all over northern New England. Teams of five firefighters race down a slalom course in full turnout gear while carrying a 50ft length of hose.
The Friends of Mary Race immediately follows the firefighters’ race and will have the same format, but any team of five can register and race down the course carrying the hose. No gear is required for this race. The race is open to anyone, but survivors and those affected by breast cancer are encouraged to enter. In addition to the races, there will be kids events, raffles, a 50/50 and an auction. “Mary's Firemen for a Cure is our largest third-party fundraiser and has helped to fight breast cancer in Maine communities and fund national research to find the cure,” said Victoria Abbott, Director of the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen. “We are sincerely appreciative for their generosity and belief in our mission.”
In 2004, Mary and Wayne Allen started “Firemen for a Cure” to give firefighters the opportunity to raise awareness about breast cancer. Mary was a long-time employee at Shawnee Peak and had successfully fought breast cancer for nearly 10 years. Wayne is a volunteer firefighter in North Bridgton. Mary and Wayne wanted to create a fun event for firefighters while fighting for a cause that was all too personal for them. Unfortunately, Mary lost her courageous battle in 2005, but Wayne and her three adult-children, Christine Suau, David and Ryan Soutter decided to keep the race going, renaming it, “Mary’s Firemen for a Cure” in 2006. “Year after year, this community comes together to show its support. My mom’s courage and grace were an inspiration to us all,” said Mary’s daughter, Christine, a mother of four. “We have had the same core local fire departments competing since the beginning,” added Mary’s son, Ryan, an avid snowboarder who lives in Colorado. “Their commitment to fighting this disease is remarkable.”
WMTW personality Meghan Torjussen will serve as emcee for this year’s event. Registration will begin at 8:30am on March 5, 2016, with the firefighters’ race beginning at 10:00am followed by The Friends of Mary Race. The entry fee is $150 per team which includes five day/night lift tickets for the day of the event and a chili lunch. Teams that register by February 26 will also receive a t-shirt for each racer. $25 lift tickets and $15 rentals are also available for family members of competitors.
To register a team, to learn more or to make a donation, please visit the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarysFiremenforaCure. For any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.