Southern Maine Health Care Cancer Care and Blood Disorders Practice Manager Natalie Breton and James Egan proudly display the medals they received for running in the 2018 Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon; which raised more than $20,000 to support SMHC’s Center for Breast Care. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BIDDEFORD – As host of the 2018 Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon, the University of New England not only provided 1,600 runners with the opportunity to race on a beautiful course along the scenic coast of Biddeford Pool, but they helped the marathon organizer, GiddyUp Events, to raise more than $20,000 in support of Southern Maine Health Care’s (SMHC) Center for Breast Care last month.

“SMHC and GiddyUp Events have a unique partnership,” said SMHC’s Director of Development Chrissie Stevens. “In exchange for coordinating all volunteers for the half marathon, SMHC is the race’s official charitable partner and recipient of funds raised through sponsors and runners, including a significant gift from GiddyUp Events.

“Every dollar donated directly supports the Center for Breast Care, helping them to provide resources free of charge to patients. Coping with cancer is stressful,” she said. “Offering patients access to support groups, patient navigator services and educational materials, can help alleviate emotional distress for patients and families throughout their cancer journey. We are extremely grateful for the financial support GiddyUp Events provides SMHC for these programs.”

From the perspective of GiddyUp Events, the partnership over the past five years has been their way of ensuring that funds raised are kept in the community to make a difference for local patients in need.

Erik Boucher, owner of GiddyUp Events and race director, agreed.

“There are two important women in my life who have been affected by cancer. My sister-in-law, who is a survivor and received care from a community center in Massachusetts, and my mother-in-law, who died from lung cancer after this year’s race,” he said. “Cancer touches us all, and I am proud to do my part to support an incredible local Center for Breast Care that helps women who are family members, friends, and peers in our community.”

SMHC is pleased to thank community corporations for their generosity, including:

Platinum sponsor: Ouellet Construction; Gold sponsors: Kennebunk Savings, North East Mobile Health Services, P&C Insurance, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, Savvy Event Rental, and the University of New England; as well as Silver sponsors: Champagne’s Energy, Corning Inc., SIS Bank and SMRT Architects and Engineers.

In addition, SMHC is grateful to the medical tent volunteer coordinators, Michael Schmitz, D.O. and Mike Hersey, director of the SMHC Sports Performance Center, as well as the more than 100 SMHC staff and community members who came together to help GiddyUp Events put on a memorable half marathon in support of local breast cancer patients.