Inspiration comes forth in many ways. When one stops to think of all the people in one’s life impacted by cancer, one comes to a screeching halt. It’s more than a moment to pause and reflect, it’s a resolute call to action.

On Tuesday evening, the Cancer Community Center and Sebago Brewing Company teamed up to sound the clarion call and rally support for the center’s annual Fight Back Festival, to be held on Sept. 22 at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.

The bike/run/walk event is a critical fundraiser for the center, and it’s also a day full of music, great food and family fun.

This communal approach to raising money comes as no surprise to Stephen Wells, a cancer survivor and new board member at the center.

“One of the center’s missions is to have laughter in every day,” he says.

Wells, who is the trail race director for the Fight Back Festival, stresses the importance of the South Portland center’s accessibility to anyone fighting cancer or touched by it.

“They have this mission of keeping classes and services free. It’s a very humble place, but serving a huge purpose.”

Sebago Brewing Company hosted the Fight Back Happy Hour at its Scarborough location, and encouraged folks to register for the event’s Not Dead Yet Bike Ride and Combat Cancer Run & Walk by giving away free pints of beer to each registrant. The company also donated $1 from every beer sold to the Cancer Community Center.

Tim Haines, who co-founded Sebago Brewing along with Brad Monarch and Kai Adams, himself a cancer survivor, is proud of his company’s long standing relationship with the center.

“They do a great job,” Haines says. “It’s one-size-fits-all. It’s a focus of energy and efforts, the community needs it, and it’s all for free.”

Chris Dudley, an avid cyclist from Limerick who already raised his goal of $500 for the Not Dead Yet Bike Ride, is eager to help raise awareness of the center.

“I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma two years ago and went through two surgeries and a year of intense treatment,” he explains. “I’m doing this bike race, and I am doing the Buddy Program at the Cancer Community Center because I’ve been through this experience. If there is someone else that’s about to go through this, and I can help, I want to.”

It was this kind of spirit, determination and camaraderie that was out in full force on Tuesday night. It’s time to heed the call.

Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

margaretlogan.squarespace.com