Charleston turns out for debut charity run benefit WV cancer patients

June 30, 2023

Inaugural Partners in Care Head & Neck 5K/2-Mile Walk raises $10K-plus for cancer treatment, education

Organizers of the new West Virginia edition of a nationwide series of charitable runs and walks to benefit local head and neck cancer patients are calling the inaugural Charleston event a success.

The annual Partners in Care 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk drew more than 130 participants and volunteers to its early April debut at Magic Island, raising more than $10,000 for local patients.

Dr. Leslie Starnes of Barboursville finished first among female competitors, while Peter Starnes of Huntington led the way among male runners.

“The turnout in Charleston was among the highest we’ve seen,” said Kathy Tolentino, director of the Fort Myers, Florida-based, nonprofit Partners in Care Foundation, which works across the country. “That’s a testament both to the community’s passion for physical fitness but also its collective commitment to helping out friends and neighbors in need.”

The charitable foundation hosts a nationwide series of spring charity runs, with additional events recently completed in California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Washington.

The race series began 11 years ago to bring awareness to head and neck cancers and to raise money for those unable to afford costly recovery therapies that often aren’t covered by insurance, or which require a very high copay.