Henry Friddle is a 4-year-old who was diagnosed this year with retinoblastoma. He will lead the children's race and attend the December luncheon.
Gerardo Martinez is a fifth-grader at Hidden Hollow Elementary and is currently undergoing treatment at Texas Children's Cancer Center for a very rare abdominal cancer. Gerardo will start the 5K race and is the honoree for the Mothers Against Cancer December luncheon.

Virginia Gandy 5K race approaches

The fifth annual Virginia Gandy 5K Run & Walk is just around the corner, and Mothers Against Cancer hopes the community will join them for another family-friendly event. This year's race is being held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Kingwood High School.

The event has become a regular one for the group, in honor of a beloved member who died in 2012.

“Virginia Gandy was a longtime member and also served on our board,” said Mothers Against Cancer Executive Director Bebe Turner. “She loved MAC, as we call Mothers Against Cancer, and was so thankful that her own children were healthy. After Virginia passed away, we wanted to honor her and also stick with a fundraiser that would become an annual event … Virginia would wear a crown to parties a lot of times, so our logo for the race incorporates a crown and children.”

The group is seeking the participation of community members as racers, sponsors, or both. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and all proceeds will benefit Texas Children's Cancer Center.  

The 5K will start at 8 a.m. with awards at 9, followed by the children's race at 9:30 and a post-race party. There will also be a DJ and other activities including face painting and balloon twisting, and all children 11 and under will receive an award. There will be free food and beverages for all participants at the party fare the race.

Those interested can register online at mothersagainstcancer.org under the 5K Run/Walk tab. Sponsorship forms are also available at the site. Those who register by Sept. 8 will receive the best price and are guaranteed a T-shirt.

Registration for the 5K is $25 by Sept. 8 and $35 thereafter. The children's race is $15 by Sept. 8 and $20 after. Racers can also sign up at the event and that registration will start at 7 a.m.

Organizers said the event has been growing steadily and they hope for even more this year.

“We had almost 400 participants last year and hopefully will keep growing,” said Turner. “Kingwood High School has been the perfect venue for us.”

T-shirt and packet pickup will be Sept. 23 from 3-7 p.m. at the Kingwood Chick-fil-A, 4594 Kingwood Drive.

The Mothers Against Cancer Holiday Luncheon is set for Dec. 5, this year.