EAST ALTON, Ill., Sept. 30, 2010 – Three Miles for Meso races, sponsored by Simmons Hanly Conroy, raised $40,000 for mesothelioma research last weekend in Illinois, Indiana and Virginia. The money, a combination of registration fees, sponsorship’s and T-shirt sales, will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that has donated more than $6.4 million to mesothelioma research. Since the Meso Foundation started in 2000, Simmons Hanly Conroy has been its top cumulative donor.
“This is our second year and already it’s grown beyond our expectations,” said Mike Angelides, managing partner of Simmons Hanly Conroy. “It’s a great event to raise awareness about mesothelioma, asbestos exposure and the work being done to find a cure.”
Nearly 600 people registered to walk or run in the Alton, Ill. race, which took place in conjunction with Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Last year, Illinois joined eight other states recognizing Sept. 26 as a day to learn more about mesothelioma, a terminal lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with this rare disease every year.
The Alton race raised $25,000 that was presented after the race to Kathy Weidemer, the Director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. She said the funds will go toward research grants the foundation awards to doctors conducting peer-reviewed research of mesothelioma and to help support patient resources offered through the foundation’s website www.curemeso.org.
“For a 5K race, this one is a blow out especially for the Illinois area,” said Mike Wever, race director and president of the Metro Tri Club, which timed the Alton event. “This event is the only 5k race in the area that offers cash prizes.”
First through third finishers in the Alton Miles for Meso men’s and women’s divisions were awarded cash prizes of $500, $250 and $100. In the men’s division, Mathew Chesang, 28, of Manhattan, Kan., placed first with a time of 14:48. Last year’s winner, Brian Lyons, 29, of St. Louis, placed second with a time of 15:03, and Rikki Hacker, 33, placed third with a time of 15:08. In the women’s division, Melissa Todd, 35, placed first with a time of 17:03, followed by Margaret Lyons, 30, of St. Louis with a time of 17:35. Lisa Lewis, 26, of Ballwin, Mo., placed third with a time of 18:06.
For more information about Miles for Meso races, or to register visit www.milesformeso.org.