The Greg and Cathy Griffith Family Foundation will host the fifth annual "Griff's Run & Gun for a Cure" July 25, 26 and 27.
This special weekend event is inspired by Hollidaysburg resident, Greg Griffith, whose courageous fight against pancreatic cancer ended on Aug. 26, 2011. Greg's wife Cathy, a patient advocate for families fighting pancreatic cancer, has continued to provide the leadership to provide funding for research to find a cure.
The weekend includes a Community Awareness Dinner and Silent Auction at The Casino at Lakemont Park on July 25, followed by a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA on July 26 and "Tee Off for a Cure" golf event at Sinking Valley Country Club on July 27.
Special guests at this year's event include Julie Weiss, "Marathon Goddess" and motivational speaker, Kerry Irvine representing Pancreatic Cancer/UK
and, if his schedule permits, Jack Andraka, 17-year-old recipient of Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Award for cancer research. If Jack is unable to attend, he will supply a special video message.
In 2010, Weiss' father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a month of his diagnosis. Her title of "Marathon Goddess" is well-deserved, running 52 marathons in 52 weeks to honor her father and raise critically important funds for research.
Weiss is a brand ambassador for Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a charity which, as part of its mission, helps extend the lives of late-stage cancer patients by covering the costs of travel to clinical trials.
The panel also includes Jack Andraka, teen phenom whose scientific breakthrough in the field of cancer research has been topping news media for the past year. "I met Jack two years ago, just after his Intel award, and he has been an integral part of the GFF ever since," said Griffith.
Joining Jack will be Kerry Irvine, whose efforts through Justgiving.com have provided necessary funding for pancreatic research in the UK.
After Kerry's husband Noel was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2011, she created Purple Posse to facilitate the fundraising in the UK, raising more than $39,000 to date.
Special guest and Hollidaysburg native Dr. Janet Woodcock will also share a video message. Woodcock is the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.
"New drugs - and new uses for older drugs - save lives, reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans," Woodcock said.
"I am continually challenged to make sure that FDA's regulatory process remains the world's gold standard for drug approval and safety." This is a critical part of the research process, getting new procedures and protocols approved to begin the process of early detection for pancreatic cancer patients.
The Griffith Family Foundation is a part of the Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic which connects foundations and families across the country to build unity toward their collective goal - beating pancreatic cancer. The AFFPC funds the work of Dr. A. James Moser, executive director of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Institute of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery.
Proceeds from the Run &?Gun Weekend will continue to support Moser's research and the AFFPC.
"Last year's Run & Gun raised $33,000 for Dr. Moser's research. Over the past 4 years, the Griffith Family Foundation has raised over $250,000 to find a cure," said Griffith.
Tickets for the Friday night dinner can be purchased at griffithfamilyfoundation.org. Cost is $30 per person.
Doors will open for socializing and auction-browsing at 5:30 p.m., with appetizers and a cash bar.
Guests will enjoy the exclusive silent auction items, including specialty sports memorabilia and vacation homes.
The YMCA will host a basketball tournament on July 26, with two divisions (Family & "Run & Gun"). Registration is $60 per team and is available at griffithfamilyfoundation.org.
"Greg's signature move on the basketball court, the" Run and Gun" is the namesake of the entire weekend," Griffith said. "We are grateful for the support of the YMCA as the venue for this fun event." Tournament play begins at 9 a.m., and concessions will be available throughout the day for families and participants.
The "Tee off for a Cure" golf outing will be held July 27 at Sinking Valley Country Club.
Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Teams may register at
griffithfamilyfoundation.org. Cost is $400 for each foursome.
Individual hole sponsorships are also available for $150.
For more information, contact the Griffith Family Foundation at griffithfamilyfoundation.org.