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Michele Bridges, founder of Stomping Out Cancer 5K and vice president of the Miami County Cancer Foundation; and Barb Fisher, co-founder of Spring Out Cancer 5K; present a check for $7,000 to Jodie Livengood, president of the Miami County Cancer Foundation.

PAOLA — The Stomping Out Cancer 5K raised $7,000 in the fight against cancer.

Michele Bridges and Barb Fisher, founder and co-founder of the Stomping Out Cancer 5K, presented a check to the Miami County Cancer Foundation during a meeting Monday, Nov. 2. Bridges is vice president of the Miami County Cancer Foundation.

The Stomping Out Cancer 5K was held at Nighthawk Vineyard and Winery in Paola.

Runners for the 5K race got to compete on a course that started and finished among the grapevines of one Miami County’s vineyards. The beautiful course follows a country road through area farmland.

Nighthawk Vineyard donated the use of the winery for the event, Bridges said. It was the perfect spot for runners to enjoy the view and raise money for a great cause.

“When the participants arrive they are met with beautiful flowers, an amazing scenic view, music, friendly faces and of course all the wine you could possibly want,” Bridges said. “The runners start off lined up between the vines. They run the section around the vineyard, through the quiet countryside. I’ve had a couple of runners describe it as, ‘breathtaking and serene, quiet and peaceful, surrounded by trees and the beautiful farmlands that surround it.’ And the winery itself is simply beautiful.”

This year Stomping Out Cancer 5K also teamed up with the KC Running Company.

“Brad Ziegler with KC Running was instrumental in getting us started,” Bridges said. “Not only do they advertise for us with their 80,000 plus database of runners, Stomping Out Cancer is also part of a ‘Fermentation Series’ run that happens the first Saturday of October. Our race, along with two others are part of a three races in 24 hours challenge.”

“We are also part of KC Running Company’s ‘I Run The City,’ where participants must run in a different city throughout the year where they also receive awards,” she said. “They bring to our beautiful venue a plethora of folks who didn’t know we existed out here in the country.”

Bridges and Fisher started Stomping Out Cancer 5K, an annual event, formerly known as No One Stands Alone.

Medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each age group. All of the runners received participation medals. The event was held in October.

The Miami County Cancer Foundation was trying to help more people with transportation to treatments, gas cards, grocery cards, utilities, wigs, nutritional drinks, quilts and other items and were in need of more funding, Bridges said.

“I decided right then I would do something,” Bridges said. “I reached out to Barb Fisher and, of course, she jumped right on board.”

Fisher has fundraising experience, working with the Relay for Life, Miami County Cops for Tots and other organizations.

“Barb and I, along with an amazing core group of volunteers, just finished out fourth annual 5K run,” Bridges said. “The Stomping Out Caner 5K would not happen without volunteers like Dennis Fennoughty, Scott Hanf, Chris and Ava Keiming, Elaine Brocker. Judy Gregory and Angie and Chris Corcoran.”

Cam Mott donates the banners for the event. Lee Mott serves and the emcee.

The Miami County Cancer Foundation helps residents of Miami County in the fight against cancer, so no one fights alone, Bridges said.

“It is with the grace of God that events like this and folks within Miami County help fund this organization that started with a few founding members who wanted to provide financial and emotional sup ort to those going through cancer,” Bridges said.

The Miami County Cancer Foundation has grown to more than 49 members. They give out more than $100,000 a year in grocery and gas cards.

The foundation meets the first Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Paola Justice Center at 805 N. Pearl St.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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