Firefighters asked to ski for a cure on March 1

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BRIDGTON — Mary’s Fireman for a Cure will once again host the organization’s annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser at Shawnee Peak Ski Area on March 1.

WTMW Channel 8 has joined the fundraiser as the event’s official media sponsor, with Erin Ovalle and Paul Merrill as the emcees of this year’s event. 

This ski event features races between fire departments from all over northern New England. During the race, teams of five firefighters race down a slalom course in full turnout gear while carrying a 50-foot hose. The more money a team raises, the more time comes off the clock.

For instance, if a team raises $1,000, 10 seconds will be deducted from its final race time. The team with the best time overall time wins bragging rights and a trophy.

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Over the past 10 years, Mary’s Firemen has raised more than $100,000 for the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 

“The funds received from Mary’s Firemen for a Cure go toward fighting breast cancer in Maine communities and national research to find the cures,” said Becky Kash of the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen. “We are sincerely appreciative and grateful for their generosity and belief in our mission.”

In 2004, Mary and Wayne Allen started Firemen for a Cure to give firefighters the opportunity to raise awareness about breast cancer. Mary was a longtime employee at Shawnee Peak and had successfully fought breast cancer for nearly 10 years. Wayne is a volunteer firefighter in North Bridgton.

Mary and Wayne wanted to create a fun event for firefighters while fighting for a cause that was all too personal for them. Unfortunately, Mary lost her battle in 2005, but Wayne and her three adult children, Christine Suau, David and Ryan Soutter decided to keep the race going, renaming it Mary’s Firemen for a Cure in 2006.

“My mom started something special, and we honor her by continuing to raise awareness and money to fight this terrible disease.” said Mary’s son David, a major in the Army Reserves. “Every year we aim to get more departments involved and have fun!”

Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. March 1, with the race beginning at 10 a.m. The entry fee is $125 per team, which includes five lift tickets at Shawnee Peak for the day of the race and a chili lunch.

Competitors may also rent skis for only $15. $25 lift tickets and $15 rentals are also available for family members of competitors. There is no limit to the number of teams a fire department may enter. There will also be raffles and prizes.

To register a team or learn more about this event, please email dcsoutter@gmail.com or visit the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MarysFiremenforaCure, where donations are also accepted.

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