Fitness Unlimited hosts cancer fundraiser

Published 4:12 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

Cancer survivors, family members and friends turned out in force Oct. 29 in support of BOCO Strong, a fundraising effort hosted by Fitness Unlimited that spotlighted the importance of cancer treatments and research.

According to event organizer Manny Vidal, last weekend’s event was the latest in a series that began several years ago. That first effort was held in support of Robin Clarke, a beloved member of the Fitness Unlimited family who has since lost her battle with cancer.

Last year, the fitness center hosted an event to raise money for a national breast cancer event, but the staff decided to focus on a cancer support effort closer to home. They chose the Shepard Cancer Foundation in Washington, and while monies were still being collected, the amount raised topped $4,000, according to Vidal.

“We decided to have it this year in honor of our members who are fighting cancer,” Vidal said. “The theme is ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Fight Cancer Alone.'”

Funds were raised through donations as well as T-shirt sales and a silent auction; prizes for the latter included timeshare vacations and opportunities to train the center’s trainers, thereby putting them through the paces.

Participants, ranging in age from school children to senior citizens, worked together to meet a combined goal of 1 million meters in a variety of cardio exercises. Gyms from New Bern and Greenville also pitched in with meeting that goal, according to Vidal.

“I’m in awe of the support of my friends and family that have showed up,” said Pam Black, a three-year cancer survivor whose courage helped spark the event. “It’s extra special because they included all cancers this time. The Fitness Unlimited staff is amazing.”