SACO – During a record-breaking Mary’s Walk and Kerrymen Pub 5K cancer fundraiser in Saco last Sunday, a number of people from Scarborough and South Portland took part to honor those who have lost their lives to the disease or to celebrate those who have beat it.

The 15th annual event raised more than $260,000, the highest amount ever, and also had a record number of runners and walkers taking part, according to the Maine Cancer Foundation. Mary’s Walk benefits the foundation, which then uses the money to give out grants that fund cancer research and education and support programs all across the state.

The Red Storm Strikes Out Cancer team from Scarborough was one of the top fundraisers for the Mary’s Walk event. Doug Bennett, who survived a diagnosis of thyroid cancer, started the team.

His wife, Lisa, said the Red Storm team has been taking part in Mary’s Walk for the past six to seven years and credited Bennett for “putting together an incredible team.”

She said the Red Storm team participates in Mary’s Walk because “it’s a great way to raise awareness for cancer research.”

Maurissa Guibord, also from Scarborough, was there with her two daughters, Danielle and Genny. Guibord is a uterine cancer survivor.

This is her third year taking part in Mary’s Walk and said she comes out to “support cancer research and celebrate the positive attitude (the event has) toward fighting cancer.”

A team from Coastal Rehab in Cape Elizabeth took part in Mary’s Walk for the first time this year, according to Veronica Shallow, the office manager for the agency.

She said a group from Coastal Rehab decided to participate because “we wanted to support our community.”

The Shields family from Scarborough also walked for the first time this year. Linda Faber-Shields said the goal was to support and honor the members of her family who have died of cancer, including her sister, mother and father, as well as her best friend in Oregon, who’s just been diagnosed with a form of bladder cancer.

Jackie DeSaint from South Portland came out to walk for her sister-in-law, Ann Sturgeon, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

DeSaint was accompanied by her friend Beth Shuler. Both were surprised at just how many people participate in Mary’s Walk and Shuler called it “a wonderful celebration of life.”

The Red Storm Strikes Out Cancer team was one of the top fundraisers for the 15th annual Mary’s Walk and Kerrymen Pub 5K on March 17. From left are Kera Greene, 9, Meggie Boislard, 9, Max Bennett, 9, Lisa Bennett and Maria Bennett, 10 months. Staff photos by Kate Irish Collins


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