Press FAQ

How much money, overall, has Mary's Walk raised?

In 2012, the Mary's Walk broke the $250,000 mark for the first time, with a combination of participant fundraising and corporate donations. The lifetime total of Mary’s Walk has been just over $1.8 million. We seem to be on track to meet or exceed last year’s total. It’s worth noting that for the first time, we had a local business owner (Mark Stevens of CRI-SIL Silicone Technologies) step in and offer to be the “presenting sponsor” of the walk with a very generous donation of $15,000.

What is the money used for?

Proceeds from Mary's Walk are used to support the work of Maine Cancer Foundation. The foundation's mission is to improve the health and well-being of Maine people by providing grants for cancer research, education and patient support programs. We have an independent board that reviews grant requests three times a year and issues grants ranging from $10,000 - $100,000. In addition, we have several smaller on-going scholarship programs for oncology professionals who need help to keep or upgrade their certification. The one rule of the foundation is that grant recipients must be located in Maine. 100% of the funding stays here in the state. You can see a full list of our grantees on our website: www.mainecancer.org

What makes Mary's Walk so special?

Community. The Mary's Walk & the Kerrymen Pub 5K run have become a springtime institution in the Saco/Biddeford area. Everyone gets involved- the schools, local businesses, the whole town.

Is this event one of Maine Cancer Foundation's major fundraisers?

Yes. $250,000 is a significant amount of money in a state our size. That translates into 25 patient support grants (for things like transportation, hospice, CAP programs, Survivorship assistance etc.) or two and a half years of research study in a lab. A viable medical treatment can easily take more than 10 years to develop from initial concept to FDA testing, and that early support is key. We try to balance between addressing immediate needs and investing in future cures. We sometimes call ourselves the “kickstarter” of cancer research.

Is it surprising that an event like this has become so well known and popular?

Cancer is a strange thing- virtually everyone knows someone, or has been personally affected in some way by cancer. But the fact is, most of us will never be a researcher or a medical professional, so it leaves us with a feeling of uselessness when someone we love is sick. Events like Mary’s Walk really help- not only because the donations make a positive effort toward finding treatments, you also get to stand up and join your friends and family and actually do something tangible. Cancer is not as scary when we all stand there together.