Miles for Meso

The Miles for Meso starting line at a previous year's event.

Nearly 1,000 people are expected to participate virtually this weekend in the 12th annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Run & 3K Fun Run/Walk, presented and organized by Simmons Hanly Conroy and the Metro Tri Club. Normally, the event would take place in historic downtown Alton at the law firm’s national headquarters, across from Marquette Catholic High School. However, the race was moved to a virtual format to ensure the safety of participants in light of COVID-19.

“We are overwhelmed by the virtual outpouring of support we’ve seen both in registrations, returning sponsors, and in the community engagement on our Miles for Meso Facebook page,” said Todd Adamitis, the firm’s chief operating officer and Miles for Meso Committee chair.

Race organizers asked everyone to register online, and from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, to run or walk their favorite 5K or 3K route individually or with family groups in their neighborhoods, local parks or community while following state and local social distancing requirements.

Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol, one of the event’s 30-plus fundraising teams, took that directive above and beyond, already raising more than $2,500. This Saturday, when the event goes live online, the team plans to gather in Robert E. Glazebrook Community Park in Godfrey and walk the 3K in honor of Godfrey resident and firm client George Dreith.

“I am walking for my friend George Dreith with Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol team and for all our clients at Simmons Hanly Conroy,” said team captain Sue Tanney, who is also a firm employee and personal friend of the Dreith family. “Our donations this year have exceeded all previous years, and we are hoping to be the top fundraising team once again. George would be so proud!”

The Georgie Porgie team first participated in 2014 to support George while he was still fighting mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Like many victims of mesothelioma, George was unknowingly exposed to asbestos during both his childhood and career. He passed away in 2015, but Georgie Porgie’s Meso Patrol has continued to gain strength every year and frequently tops the leaderboard for fundraising.

The top three fundraising teams will receive trophies. The current second- and third-place teams are ChemoSavvy, having raised $400; and Team Captain Oakes, with $390 raised.

Click here to donate to the Georgie Porgie Team or any of this year’s Miles for Meso teams.

All proceeds benefit the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, the largest independent asbestos victims’ group in the United States. Founded in 2004, ADAO gives asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice, raises public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and works toward a global asbestos ban. In addition to participating in Miles for Meso, everyone can support National Mesothelioma Awareness Day by:

  • Signing and sharing a ban asbestos petition in the United States.
  • Wearing blue, the official color of the awareness campaign.
  • Sharing ADAO and Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation social media posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Attending a virtual fundraiser like Miles for Meso.
  • Updating your Facebook profile picture with Miles for Meso’s frame.

The 2019 race raised $25,000 for ADAO. In total, the race has brought $180,000 to the charitable organization.

Registration is still open through Oct. 2. Virtual race participants are encouraged to share pictures or videos to Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #MilesforMeso and tag Miles for Meso and Simmons Hanly Conroy on Facebook.

Participants will self-report results as part of the virtual format. Individual links will be emailed to each participate the day before the race which will allow them to self-report their results using a virtual results portal either on raceroster.com or through the Runkeeper phone app.

Cash or age group prizes will not be awarded this year. However, all registered participants who submit their finish time on the #MilesForMeso virtual results page will receive a 2020 #MilesforMeso Finisher Medal. The event will be open online from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 to upload results.

Click here to register.

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