11/6/2012 5:00:00 PM 'Steps for the Cure' raises $50,000
“Steps for the Cure” participants take the Survivors Lap that kicks off the annual event held at Scott Stadium on Oct. 20.
Special to the Times
BLYTHE - The Blythe Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) held its sixth annual "Steps for the Cure" event on Oct. 20. This year's event was in honor of "Caregivers", both individuals and professionals. In one single event, the town raised just over $50,000 for the benefit of local cancer patients.
It seems that no matter the time of year, near the holidays or dead of summer, sponsors and citizens open their pocket books, check books and hearts to give and help one another.
The keynote speaker for this year's event was Trina Sartin, of Desert Air Ambulance. She gave a heartfelt outline of Blythe resident Eric Wilson's battle with cancer. Sartin was one of Eric's caregivers in his last days.
Jeff Gatchell, also with Desert Air Ambulance, helped to open the event with two flybys in the Desert Air Ambulance Cessna 421, as Robert Figueroa sang the national anthem.
More people and volunteers than ever before came to Scott Stadium on Saturday afternoon to help prepare food, play music, walk the track and have a great time. The Colorado River Recycling Crew prepared excellent catfish and hush puppies, chicken plates and the usual burgers and dogs for those in attendance, and then donated their proceeds of over $4,600 to BCRC.
After the stadium lights went out, the Palo Verde High School Dance Team and cheerleaders provided nighttime routines and at the end of the evening there were just under 600 luminaries surrounding the high school track.
Each luminary represents a cancer patient in "honor of" or in "memory of." The music was provided by Joe Johnson with breaks provided by the G-4 band. PJ Johnson (actually her Office Technology class) produced the tribute slide show at the end of the event.
The Junior ROTC and Riverside County Youth Advisory Council helped with event setup and lots of teenage muscle. All total, with event sponsors, up front fund raising events, 27 teams and help from a small group from the "agricultural industry", the combined "Steps for the Cure" event total will be over the $50,000 mark... and, there are still more donations trickling in.
All four yards at CVSP will be conducting their own "Steps" event to donate their proceeds to BCRC. Last year the inmates donated over $700 to benefit local cancer patients. To put these numbers into perspective, so far this year, BCRC has assisted 35 new and 28 returning cancer patients in the amount of $48,636.
"The Board members of BCRC would like to thank all of our sponsors, team captains, volunteers and workers who helped to make this event the remarkable success that it was," said BRBC President Ted Arneson "Please remember, when asked for your donation in the future, that all the money raised in this community, stays in this community. It takes all of us to 'cure cancer one patient at a time.'"