5K for Mountain Laurel Center a success

(PHOTO: Kathy and Gary Kennedy, parents of Leigh Ann Bolinskey, were among supporters at the Dec. 11 event named in honor of their daughter.)

The 2021 Leigh Ann Bolinskey Memorial 5K Run/Walk is expected to raise more than $18,400 for the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support & Resource Center.

Sixty-four people participated in the event, held in Big Stone Gap on the evening of Dec. 11.

“We are so appreciative of everyone who supported this event in any way – our sponsors, participants, timekeepers, the Town of Big Stone Gap, Big Stone Gap Police Department and all volunteers,” said Mountain Laurel Center Coordinator Dianne Morris.

“This was the first time the race has been held at night, and the number of participants was impressive. We had worried about the weather, but rain earlier in the day had cleared by race time. It was a great evening for runners to enjoy the holiday lights on the Greenbelt Trail and help a good cause,” added Morris.

First, second and third place medals were awarded for males and females in eight age groups ranging from 12 and younger to 65 and older.

The Mountain Laurel Center is part of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. and provides assistance to cancer patients in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Bolinskey was director of the center from 2004 until 2014, when she died of leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer. The center provides liquid nutritional supplements, home-delivered meals and financial aid for travel for diagnosis, treatment and surgery, and other unforeseen cancer-related expenses. These services are available because of community support and monetary donations from various sources.

Tax-deductible donations to the Mountain Laurel Center are welcome at any time. Please make checks payable to MEOC-MLCC and mail them to PO Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Make online donations at www.meoc.org. For more information about the center and its services, contact Dianne Morris at (276) 523-4202 or dianne.morris@meoc.org.