Walkers push up the first hill on their way from Dyea to Skagway during Saturday's cancer walk. Elaine Brummett joins the fun and lets Grover Scestedt decorate her face with glitter at the first aide station.

Cancer Walk raises awareness, money

Story and Photos by Molly Dischner

Saturday's cancer walk raised over $20,000 and featured five aide stations for walkers (and a few runners) to pick up snacks to tide them over as they walked.
"We had 90 registered participants that walked the walk, and 36 of them went the extra mile to bring in pledges," said treasurer Virginia Long.
Those four busloads of walkers, and a van and trailer with dogs, made their way to Dyea, to start the walk with bagels, Dyea sunrise tea, and a bathroom at the Chilkoot Trail Outpost.
But the walk hadn't been going for very long when it came to a halt at the first station, where walkers stopped for juice and Jolly Ranchers, in addition to the typical offerings of water and energy bars.
"Do you want any face paint?" asked Emily Moody, when walkers passed her to reach the table of treats. Although Moody decorated mostly kids' faces, her co-worker, Grover Scestedt, had glitter – an offer snapped up by some of the adult walkers.
The other stops included a simple stop with fruits and vegetables, and fiesta, carnival, and gold rush themed breaks that had food, drinks, games, and music for walkers to enjoy.
But walkers picked up more than just free drinks and snacks along the way.
"Along with the walk, people should be given trash bags next year," said Rene Soucek. Soucek, one of many walkers who returned with pockets and backpacks filled with trash, suggested that they award a prize for most trash.
Trash cans, recycling bags, and lunch awaited walkers when they returned to the Elks. The first runners started trickling in a little after 11, organizers thought, but the last of the walkers didn't return until after 1, when coordinator Lynn Herbig announced the top fundraiser, Allison Wilson, who brought in $2,945.
Pledges alone brought in about $11,000 said Long.
Even the youngest walkers brought in donations – participant Lisa Hollander's daughter Rebecca, who ran back and forth between her mom and friends for half the race, and spent the other half at the fiesta stop, raised more than $250, entering her in the drawing for door prizes. The Hollanders were two of more than a dozen people who raised more than $250.

Holly Hallet and Colette Thompson greet walkers with cookies and margaritas at the fiesta-themed stop they manned. After finishing the walk together, Kari Rain says goodbye to Norton (the Jewell's dog) before heading inside the Elks Lodge for lunch.