Marion students deliver check to cancer center

REED CITY — More than 100 miles of foot traffic was covered altogether on Monday as 14 students from Marion ran to raise funds to benefit cancer patients.

Members of the Marion High School cross country team ran on the Pere Marquette Trail, starting where the path crosses M-66 and ending in Reed City, to bring almost $2,000 to the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center.

Students split into groups to run different portions of the overall 20-mile trek. According to coach Jason Keeler, the idea for the run came from the students, who wanted to do more than wear pink uniforms throughout October for Cancer Awareness Month.

“This was really a cool opportunity to do a good thing,” he said, noting this run offered students a chance to honor those who are dealing with cancer. “They are out enduring a much more difficult challenge,” he said.

As students finished their run, they were met by a welcoming committee of cancer center employees, including Jennifer Ames, practicing manager.

“We are always very gracious when people want to donate money. Generally, donations support our wellness center,” she said, noting the center provides gas cards, classes, library services and more for patients, as well as integrative services, such as massage therapy, reflexology, wigs and scarves.

“The big thing for me is, I want the kids to give back to the community,” Keeler said.