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SMCDM FT5K to commemorate life of former Riley patient

| Friday, October 2, 2015

The Saint Mary’s College Dance Marathon (SMCDM) will host its annual FT5k Saturday at 9 a.m. This year’s event is dedicated to Charlotte Terry, a girl who lost her battle with cancer this past summer.

“SMCDM raises money and awareness for the children at Riley Hospital for Children, through year-round events, fundraisers and personal giving efforts that all culminate into our big, 12-hour marathon event in the spring,” co-president of SMCDM Maranda Pennington said. “Our hopes for the FT5K event is to raise awareness for Riley kids in our community and have more people realize why what we do is so important.”

Although the event takes place annually, this year marks the first time the event is dedicated to a child at Riley Hospital.

Allison Lukomski, Pennington’s co-president of SMCDM, said upon learning of Charlotte Terry’s story, she shared it with members of the SMCDM executive board.

“She was this little angel that I introduced to the executive board, who soon after fell in love also,” she said. “Charlotte not even a year old was diagnosed with a brain tumor that had spread down her spinal cord. The way in which the family spoke and kept a positive attitude throughout her entire battle is what truly inspired me.”

Although neither Lukomski nor Pennington met Charlotte, they said she greatly impacted their own lives personally.

“Charlotte provided me with a new outlook and perspective on life, making sure each moment is cherished,” Lukomski said. “Although I never had the chance to meet Charlotte, she will be a part of my eternity. And I hope that the Saint Mary’s community can soon feel the same.

“If anything, the Dance Marathon board would like to have all community members who are willing to come and share this morning with us as we share a story of love and inspiration of our little superhero, Charlotte Terry.”

In honor of Charlotte, co-fundraising chair member of SMCDM Katherine Slisz said, “Our tanks all will say, ‘Charlotte strong,’ on the back to remind us why we raise money for Riley Hospital for Children.”

“I also think a huge goal of every event is to show the Riley kids and families that we are there to support and love them. At the end of the day, every single thing we do if FTK — for the kids,” Pennington said.

Mary Claire Burchett, a co-fundraising chair member, said the members of SMCDM “hope the school and community will come out and have a fun day walking [and] running as we strive to help raise money and awareness for such an unbelievable cause and help the kids at Riley.”

For more information, visit the SMCDM webpage at smcdm.org.

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