ALTON, Ill. – On Saturday, Sept. 28, more than 1,000 participants in the 11th Annual Miles for Meso 5k race and 3k fun run/walk will have the opportunity to not only fundraise and spread awareness about mesothelioma, but to honor the memory of legendary actor Steve McQueen, who lost his unflagging fight with the disease in 1980.
Simmons Hanly Conroy Chairman John Simmons purchased McQueen’s 1938 Triumph 500cc 5T Speed Twin motorcycle earlier this year. The bike will be viewable during Miles for Meso and then permanently on display at Simmons Hanly Conroy as a tribute to McQueen’s early search for a mesothelioma cure.
“Steve McQueen was a true American icon, playing heroes who straddled the divide between the ideals of post-World War II America and the social revolutions of the sixties and seventies,” said Simmons. “Just as the rebels and leaders he portrayed never gave up, Steve McQueen fought this disease to the very end. Honoring him and his fight reminds us how far the asbestos prevention community has come since 1980, when those with a mesothelioma diagnosis did not have the answers or support they deserved.”
Started in 2009 by Simmons Hanly Conroy, the Alton Miles for Meso 5k takes place every September in celebration of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day (Sept. 26). Race day festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. at Simmons Hanly Conroy, located at One Court Street in Alton, across from Marquette High School. The race itself starts at 9 a.m. Registration is still available for $40 the morning of the race. All registration fees benefit the charity and include a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking shirt.
Over the past eleven years, Miles for Meso events nationwide have raised $680,000 to benefit mesothelioma awareness and research. For the sixth straight year, proceeds from the Alton event will benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the United States. McQueen’s wife, Barbie McQueen, serves as the co-celebrity chair of the charity, along with Warren Zevon’s son, Jordan Zevon who will also be at the race and give a special performance before the awards ceremony at 10 a.m.
Founded in 2004, ADAO gives asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice, raises public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and works toward a global asbestos ban. The 2018 race raised $25,000 for ADAO. Cumulatively, the race has raised $155,000 for the organization.
“We are so grateful for Simmons Hanly Conroy’s ongoing support of our organization and commitment to not only spreading awareness about the hazards of asbestos exposure but helping families who are suffering from its effects,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder and president of ADAO. “We’re so pleased to be a part of Miles for Meso and look forward to another wonderful turnout.”
Metro Tri Club of Edwardsville, Illinois, co-organizes the race along with firm employees. The overall top five men and women 5K finishers will each win cash prizes of $500, $250, $200, $100 and $50, respectively. Additionally, the first-, second- and third-place finishers in each age group will receive custom Miles for Meso medals, and the top fundraising team and individual will be recognized as well. In lieu of cash, alternative prizes will be given to student athletes who place in the top five of the men’s or women’s category. Age groups can be found on the registration page. All participants who cross the finish line will receive a finisher prize.
Corporate sponsors for Miles for Meso include diamond sponsors BDO, Pohlman Reporting, The Bridge Church, Sokolove Law, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust and Impact Strategies, as well as platinum sponsors Jenner & Block, Lockton and Acropolis.
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the United States. It was founded in 2004 to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice, to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and to work toward a global asbestos ban. ADAO is dedicated to preventing asbestos-caused diseases through national and international education, advocacy, and community initiatives.
For more information, visit http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/
About Miles for Meso
Miles for Meso is an initiative of the Simmons Mesothelioma Foundation that was established in 2009 to raise funds and awareness for mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Miles for Meso races have been held across the country, from New York to Florida to Washington state and several locations in between. Together, Miles for Meso events have raised more than $680,000 to benefit mesothelioma research and awareness.