5K to benefit Mountain Laurel Center

Participants are needed for the 2021 Leigh Ann Bolinskey Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Dec. 11 in Big Stone Gap to benefit the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support & Resource Center.

This year’s 5K will be a night race, starting and finishing at Big Stone Gap Visitor Center and taking participants through three miles of holiday lights and decorations on the town’s Greenbelt Trail. Registration will open at 5 p.m. The race will begin at 6 p.m.

The Mountain Laurel Center is part of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. All proceeds from the event will directly support 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.

“We are hoping for a great turnout to support the Mountain Laurel Center. We need runners and walkers alike to participate,” said Dianne Morris, center coordinator. “No money raised will ever be spent on administrative costs. All proceeds directly benefit local cancer patients throughout the community with unexpected cancer-related needs.”

The Mountain Laurel Center has offered support, advocacy and assistance to people with cancer of all ages for nearly two decades. 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 a variety of sources.


Entry fees: $30 for adults over age 18, $15 for ages 13-18 and free for children 12 and younger.

Prizes: First, second and third place prizes will be awarded for males and females in eight age groups: 13 and younger; 14-16; 17-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-65; and 65 and older.

More information: Contact Dianne Morris at (276) 523-4202 or dianne.morris@meoc.org.

Can’t participate but still want to help? Tax-deductible donations are welcome at any time. Please make checks payable to MEOC-MLCC and mail them to PO Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Online donations may be made at www.meoc.org.