Initially scheduled for Saturday at the Starboard, organizer and Starboard and Bethany Blues owner Steve “Monty” Montgomery said they are moving the 5K/walk and party to Oct. 10 to give the weather a chance to sort itself out.
But rain or shine, it’s happening Oct. 10, he said. The event this year is pegged as an all-weekend affair with free music shows from Bruce in the USA, LauraLea and Tripp Fabulous, and Maryland-based musician Doug Segree.
Instead of Orange Crushes, grapefruit is the Crush of choice. And there is a pulled-pork smorgasbord courtesy of Bethany Blues BBQ waiting after you walk, run or crawl across the finish line.
“This is for the survivors, the families,” Montgomery said. “It’s just an event to bring people together.”
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 10), with the race horn sounding at noon. It costs $30 to register for the run/walk and $35 the day of the event. A ticket to the pig roast is $20.
Since its inception in 2011, the event has raised $136,000 in ticket sales and donations for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. In 2011, they only raised $12,000. By 2014, the donations had quadrupled to propel them to a record-setting $58,000.
This time around, though, Montgomery said he is sure they will break $60,000. As of Thursday they had secured $35,000 in just donations. (Go tohttp://deweygoespink.com/ to donate).
“This whole event has taken on a life of its own,” he said.
It had humble beginnings.
Monty’s mom Barbara was the catalyst. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986 and fought it off for 25 years, Montgomery said. Then, when she was 74, she was diagnosed again.
Montgomery said she was inspired by the way the treatments and technology surrounding breast cancer had changed.
She felt it was her job to give back to the breast cancer community. In her last month, she decided she wanted to donate money through her country club, but Montgomery said he took over the venture to see how far the donations could go.
Around that time, his friend and fellow beach businessman Adam Howard, owner of the Body Shop fitness center in Rehoboth, was grappling with a similar family situation.
Howard’s mom Paula was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and was going through chemotherapy. One day, the friends were running on the Rehoboth boardwalk chatting about their moms and sharing stories when something clicked.
Hence, the “Gugie” 5K was born, paying homage to Barbara’s nickname.
Now every October, Dewey Beach is bathed in pink and welcomes more than 2,000 race participants and their families.
“It’s something,” Howard said. “You see a much bigger picture.”
His mom is doing well post-treatment, while Montgomery’s mom died just as the event was kicking off in 2011.
Montgomery said his mom would “be beside herself” with how successful the event has become and proud of the way it is impacting the community.
“There’s not a person in this world not affected by breast cancer,” he said.
Jen Rini can be reached at (302) 324-2386 or email@example.com. Follow @JenRini on Twitter.