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Teal' race exceeds expectations

There was no shortage of dedication and heart put into organizing the Teal There's a Cure 5K Run/Walk held Saturday July 4 in Marcellus. There was no shortage of participants, either.

The undeniably successful event drew 270 registrants to Marcellus Park Saturday and raised more than $8,000 for the American Cancer Society and GRACE'S, a local support group for gynecological cancer patients and survivors.

The fundraiser was organized by Marcellus resident Kevin O'Hara and the 50-plus members of the O'Hara family to raise awareness of ovarian and other gynecological cancers.

After one of the O'Hara sisters was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the family drew on its strength in numbers to spread the word on one of the most undiagnosed cancers in the United States.

In addition to the fundraiser itself, family members helped raise awareness among participants and spectators with signage throughout the course.

Coughlin siblings, Beth, 18, Kara, 20, Ellen, 23, and Jack, 8, created signs with symptoms and statistics about ovarian cancer to inject education into the course.

For Jane Magari, the signs were an eye-opener.

"I read every sign along the way," the runner said. Learning about the symptoms, which are often misdiagnosed and mistaken for gastrointestinal problems, helped drive home the purpose of the event.

And not only did they successfully raise awareness of the disease, participants agreed the family put on a great run, too.

"This was extremely well-organized," Syracuse runner Frank Price said. "I don't know what else they could have done. Marcellus was great."

The police and volunteer presence prevented traffic problems, three water stops kept participants hydrated and the community members who stood outside cheering on walkers and runners "made a huge difference," Price added.

Jim Carey, also of Syracuse, agreed.

"I expected to see a lot of great people, and I was right," Carey said of the experience. He was particularly impressed with the course, which he said was a great run for runners at every level and also for walkers.

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