Youmans raising money for pancreatic cancer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Organizers of this weekend’s Ready, Set, Glow 5K in Opp already have more than 120 participants registered to run or walk in the event to raise money for pancreatic cancer research.

Butch Youmans’ family and friends are organizing the event in his memory. You-mans died in May of 2013, just 15 months after his diagnosis.

“The funding for pancreatic cancer is very little,” Donna Youmans said. “Unfortunately, there is nobody left to advocate for it, unlike the breast cancer awareness campaigns. In 40 years, there hasn’t been any real progress made in treatment, but there is hope.”

Most victims live only three to six months after their diagnoses, she said.

Last year, Mrs. Youmans and her family and friends organized a group of about 60 people to participate in a pancreatic cancer awareness fundraiser in Birmingham. Then they decided they’d do their own event at home.

So far, participants include track teams from Paxton, Opp and Straughn, as well as runners and walkers form Crestview, Ft. Walton, Birmingham, Montgomery, Enterprise and Dothan.

Mrs. Youmans said she wanted the 5K to be a family event. There will be bouncy houses and an inflatable obstacle course set up for kids, she said.

“Those will be free, but we will be set up to take donations,” she said.

There also will be face painting and a picture booth.

Online registration is closed, but forms are available at Southern Independent Bank in Opp and Andalusia, the Opp Chamber of Commerce, and Southern Style.

On-site registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Opp Sports Complex, located at 1000 Cameron Road.

At 7 there will be a ceremony in memory of pancreatic cancer victims, who will be remembered with a balloon release.

That will be followed by a zumba warm-up, and the 5K will start about 7:30.

Mrs. Youmans said the route will be as well-lighted as possible. All participants will receive a T-shirt, as well as a glow bracelet and necklace.

There also will be volunteers along the route, to make it as safe as possible.

The race will be followed by music with “disc jockeys” Brett Ballard and Trippy McGuire, as well as light refreshments provided by the H.T. Hackney Co.

Televisions also will be set up so fans can keep track of the Auburn game.

Participants are encouraged to wear purple, the color of pancreatic cancer awareness, and prizes will be awarded for those best dressed and “craziest dressed” in purple, as well as general door prizes.

“We are excited about the event, and hope that everybody will have a good time,” she said.

Pre-registration is $25; on-site registration is $30. For more information, see the group’s Facebook page.