We couldn't have asked for a better day to gather for the 7th Annual Dragonslayer PDX Walk for Sarcoma. The skies were bright, spirits high, and hearts full as we gathered at beautiful Cook Park in Tigard, Oregon.
It was almost like a parade as we watched Dragonslayer teams arrive in their inspiring team gear. Team OHSU even brought a team member dressed in a dragon costume!
Heartwarming doesn’t fully describe the tone of the program as each team had the opportunity to share their reason for walking. Some were walking in memory of a loved one, while others walked in support of those still in the middle of the sarcoma fight. And together, we celebrated with those who are now free of sarcoma. Hope filled Cook Park.
Our "I Am a Dragonslayer" speaker, Sam Day, courageously and passionately shared his journey with Ewing's Sarcoma. Sword and all, Sam inspired the crowd to tears bringing unity and hope to all in attendance.
Team B.L.A.M.B. had the honor of beginning the walk. In February of 2015, they lost their hero, Brian Lamb, to angiosarcoma and germ cell cancer. His wife, Breanna, shared, “we walk this walk for him, to raise awareness for sarcoma cancer, and to teach people to live their lives to the fullest!” Team B.L.A.M.B. is a great demonstration of courage. With team spirit soaring, teams gathered together walking in one mission.
As teams canvassed the beautiful course, they were encouraged and guided by energetic volunteers from Sunset High School's Cross Country Team. Over 40 teens danced, cheered, and supported the 500 walkers on the course. Teams crossed the finish line and once again were greeted by friendly, enthusiastic members of the cross country team. It was no surprise that Sunset High School Cross Country Team was awarded the "Team Spirit Award" for Dragonslayer 2015. Their team spirit lifted hearts!
Team Brad was awarded the “Danny Keagbine Award for Top Fundraising Team”, raising over $5,000 for sarcoma research and, although they had over 70 walkers on their team, the "Largest Team" award was presented to Spencer's Sarcoma Warriors with a team of 121 walkers with 110 of them walking virtually in Texas! Spencer's Sarcoma Warriors is led by Spencer's grandparents. When Spencer's grandpa, William Shores, shared his grandson's story and upcoming Dragonslayer Walk for Sarcoma, his boss was inspired to do something. Not only did his boss get involved, she registered each of her 110 Texas-based employees as Virtual Walkers! With these additions to the team, Spencer's Sarcoma Warriors took home the "Largest Team Award." For many years, Team Brad has snagged the largest team award. Because of this and the outstanding volunteer support of Dyan Ventura and Team Brad, we have re-named the award to state "Brad Ventura Largest Team Award" to honor his memory. Gifts from sponsors, donations to the event, and the efforts of the 19 Dragonslayer teams, brought in nearly $38,000 towards the Foundation’s programs.
Dragonslayer PDX wouldn't be the same without a mighty volunteer team. Many thanks to Team Brad volunteers who year after year assist with the logistics of the race, creating a seamless event for all to enjoy. Also, thank you to Brian LaVere for providing great music from start to finish; and to our emcee, Jack Taylor, for leading a touching program.
Lastly, we couldn't do this event without our supportive sponsors. Thank you to EDGE Development, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Gramor Development, Atiyeh Brothers, and Peter O'Neil of Coldwell Banker Seal. Your investment is impacting lives!
We treasure the memories made at the 7th Annual Dragonslayer PDX Walk for Sarcoma and we look forward to sharing this special event with you again next year!