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My Turn: Rock ’N Race: a fun event, a community mission

Cancer is still a prevalent disease. Virtually all of us have someone in our lives who has been diagnosed with it.

The 2013 Rock ’N Race to benefit the Payson Center for Cancer Care at Concord Hospital is an inspiring community event that gives us all an opportunity to join together in strength to support and remember loved ones, friends and neighbors who have had to cope with cancer.

Joining in the Rock ’N Race is a great way to support Concord Hospital’s efforts to assure medical care and support for everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances. More important, the race provides a wonderful opportunity to reinforce that we are a community and, as community members, we share common interests. One of those interests is that everyone should have the opportunity to live disease-free and in good health. While that may not always be the reality, the amazing support demonstrated at this event is uplifting and reinforces our common aspiration of good health for all.

The Rock ’N Race isn’t really a race. Yes, there will be elite runners who finish the course about the time some of us are turning from Main Street onto Pleasant Street. But the majority of the 6,000 participants aren’t concerned with their time. For them, the event is about caring, reflection and strength of spirit.

An event of this magnitude would not be possible without tremendous leadership and volunteerism. My heartfelt thanks to this year’s chairs, Claudia Walker, Pat Bourgault and Donna Killion, their ambitious committee and the hundreds of volunteers who will be on the course and the State House lawn Thursday evening. Additionally, our sponsors, led by Merrimack County Savings Bank, ensure that virtually all the money raised goes directly to support people with cancer and their families.

The Rock ’N Race gives us a great sense of community pride and our ability – individually and collectively – to make a difference for those affected by cancer. I hope you will join me at this inspiring event on Thursday.

(Michael B. Green is the president and CEO of Concord Hospital.)

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