2018-03-15 / Editorial

Mary’s Walk: Two decades of making a difference

Beyond the Headlines
by Sen. Justin Chenette

Every year like clockwork, there is an event that unites us. It brings people of all walks of life (literally) together for something much bigger than ourselves individually; a true collective conscious. The event of course is Mary’s Walk.

That feeling you get when you are in the midst of thousands of your friends, neighbors and complete strangers walking toward a common goal and purpose down Main Street is truly indescribable. There is no better text-book definition of what having a strong sense of community is all about.

Mary Kerry Libby lost her courageous battle with cancer on March 7, 1997. Her husband, Gene Libby, and the Libby and Kerry families, founded Mary’s Walk in her memory, dedicated to raising money to support cancer research and provide programs that support Maine cancer patients. We are so grateful for the Kerry and Libby families for channeling their grief into helping find a cure and touching the lives of those around them much like how Mary lived her life.

Mary’s Walk was formed as a Maine nonprofit in 1999. Supported by an all-volunteer board of directors and hundreds of volunteers, Mary’s Walk will hold its 20th annual Mary’s Walk and Kerrymen 5K Sunday, March 18. Over the course of 20 years, Mary’s Walk has been supported by more than 60,000 participants, thousands of volunteers, and has raised and donated more than $3 million to the Maine Cancer Foundation.

Mary’s Walk is a unique, all volunteer Maine charity with an unparalleled record of support with the cancer community and the people of Maine. With generous support from individuals and businesses alike, Mary’s Walk has funded programs that include early cancer detection, rural transportation initiatives, and navigator programs to assist cancer patients with access to medical care.

If you haven’t signed up yet for the walk or the run, please do so. You can also register on site. If you’ve never done it, you won’t regret it and if you have participated, this is a great year to do it again. You’ll help celebrate a milestone year of giving back, honoring a legacy and a beautiful life, all while achieving something we could use a lot more of right now, love. Love for your fellow human being. At our core, we all have the same beating heart and blood through our veins. It shouldn’t take an event to acknowledge this crucial fact, but it never hurts to have a helpful reminder.

Throughout its 20-year history, Mary’s Walk has demonstrated how to turn loss into love and mobilize volunteers to make a difference in the fight against cancer for the people of Maine. Together let’s recognize and thank the Mary’s Walk board, the Kerry and Libby families, and the countless volunteers on its 20th anniversary for their selfless devotion, financial support, making a difference and offering hope for the people of Maine.

Justin Chenette is serving his first term as the youngest senator in the Maine Senate representing Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington and Buxton. He previously served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Outside the Legislature, he is the owner of Chenette Media LLC, a marketing & public relations firm, works as the marketing coordinator of Saco Sport & Fitness, and is the president of Saco Main Street. Sign up for legislative updates at www.justinchenette.com or www.

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