"Run for Your Life" raises $250,000
PHILADELPHIA - June 20, 2010 (WPVI) -- Today is Father's Day and that holds special meaning for all of us here at Action News. It's a day to remember our beloved friend and colleague Gary Papa, who passed away a year ago yesterday.
Gary died of prostate cancer and, today, our family joined thousands of others for the annual Gary Papa Run for Your Life.
The participants raced as teams and individuals raising a record $250,000.
It was an impressive sight on Martin Luther King Drive Sunday morning. More than 4,000 people walked, ran and helped raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research.
It was also a very gratifying sight for Gary Papa's family and all the folks behind this effort.
"I think we have a sensational turn out. We doubled our numbers from last year," explained Shelley Schwartz of Prostate Health International.
The first "Run for Your Life" brought out just 500 participants. Since then the crowds have grown steadily. Last year, two days after Gary died, a record 2,100 people came out, and the event was renamed for him.
This year there was more than double that record turnout, which included our own "6abc Team Papa" and of course, Gary's family.
Gary's wife, Kathy Papa, reacted to today's turnout by saying, "It's amazing. It's amazing and we're just thrilled. We want the word to get out - that is the key - to have all the men to become aware that they need to have exams, they need to be checked, and they need to stay on top of this, because it can save your life."
That, of course, was the point of today's run - getting the message out. It's a message Gary's two sons are proud to share with their father.
"I think he really inspired everyone else to get checked up for prostate cancer," said Gary's son, Nathaniel.
Gary's parents were also at Sunday's event, overwhelmed by the turnout.
"You just can't imagine how thrilled I am," said a very emotional Theresa Papa.
Gary's father, Frank Papa, continued by saying, "We are so proud of our son Gary today. It's just unbelievable."
For more information about prostate cancer, visit the website of Prostate Health International.
pennsylvania, philadelphia, gary papa run 4 your life, local/state, david henry
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