LEWISTON — With less than six months to go until the big weekend, the Dempsey Challenge has scheduled its second annual spring kickoff for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23,  at the Dempsey Center, 29 Lowell St.

The kickoff is free and marks the unofficial start of training and fundraising for the fifth annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen. The 2012 Challenge attracted 4,294 participants and raised $1.2 million to benefit the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, which provides free support and education to anyone impacted by cancer.

All attendees will be entered to win a meet-n-greet with Patrick Dempsey and have an opportunity to win door prizes, including a $50 restaurant gift card. Vendors will be available to discuss gear and training, and event staff will be present to field questions and provide tours of the Dempsey Center.

No RSVP is required and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 1-866-990-1499 or e-mail [email protected]

The Dempsey Challenge will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13 in Lewiston.

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