RUMFORD — The Rumford Elks Lodge will be hosting its annual Maine Children’s Cancer Program walk at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Sandra Welch, who first helped organize the walk in Rumford 21 years ago, said that registration will begin at 8 a.m., with the walk beginning at 9 a.m. However, she added that the event will be more casual than other 5k events.

“If people show up earlier, they can start walking right off the bat,” Welch said. “Some of the people that aren’t able to do a long walk can just walk around the Hosmer Field track.”

Welch said that she received the collection papers for the walk on Saturday, and that those who raise $25 prior to the walk will receive a T-shirt.

“There are still a lot of children in this area who are fighting cancer, and some who haven’t made it,” Welch said. “We already have a lot of teams set up to walk and help us out. The Oxford Federal Credit Union has a team that is walking for Nate Gallant, and Tammy Schmersal-Burgess is walking on behalf of her daughter, who is a cancer survivor. There’s a lot of people out there helping us out.”

The Maine Elks Association has been raising money for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program since 1985, when they adopted the program as one of their major projects. Welch said that as of 2013 the group has surpassed $3 million in donations.

“I’ve been involved in the program for about 20 or 21 years,” Welch explained. “Jim Bouchard, who was the director of fundraising at the time, talked me into holding a cancer walk for the MCCP in Rumford, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It started off slow, but it’s really grown quite a lot in recent years.”

Anyone interested in walking should call Welch at 418-9650.

For more information on the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, visit their website or join the MCCP fan page on Facebook to learn about upcoming events.

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