OCEANPORT:Research for finding a cure for pediatric brain tumors continues with help from $1 million dollars of support from the Kortney Rose Foundation and its annual Kortney's Challenge, a tribute to a nine year old girl whose angel wings lifted 500 runners at the 2-Mile Run/Walk on Aug. 8 at Monmouth Park.
The 10th Annual event is dedicated to brain cancer research focused on children, where 4% of all funding for cancer research is being done today. Monies raised are channeled to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or the familiar name of CHOP.
At Saturday's race were groups such as the BFE from Belford, the "Best Family Ever" team with a five year old member in treatment, their reason for coming together.
Bret Roysdon, 18, form Franklinville in South Jersey, who is in his fifth year of remission from a brain tumor, sang the National Anthem as the race was begun.
12-year old Gordon Ogden from Shrewsbury walked the two mile event on crutches with a broken foot. The young athlete missed his recent USA Hockey qualifying team trial but was "walking for Kortney".
Kortney's mother Kristen Gillette formed the foundation in 2006 to fund the work needed to advance the research to conquer the disease that took Kortney from her. She and her husband Rich were joined on Saturday by Stuart Sullivan, Executive VP of the hospital.
Sullivan thanked the 500 athletes for their efforts which have allowed research to move ahead. "A lot more work is needed" he said as he introduced the research team members who were with him, renowned in their field. "Of the 400 events that contribute to the search for a cure, this (Kortney's Challenge) is the most successful, thanks to all of you."
During registration welcoming entertainment was staged on the entrance road at the Monmouth Park entrance circle, a chance for groups to assemble for photos.
Supporters came from near and far. Quite a few were from Oceanport. Many from the shore area, and others from as far away as Georgia and Florida. Oceanport Mayor Mike Mahon was here with a record of running at every race thus far with only one year's miss. He remembered the first race around the streets of the town, residents lining along hose pathways.
Casey Birdsall from Oceanport was the women's winner. For the men the race went o Red Bank's Brendan Kirschner.
Warm up activities before the star were dancers from the the Dance Plus Performance teams from Little Silver.