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Cruizers support lung cancer research - and each other

  • August 22 2017

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    Cruizers support lung cancer research - and each other

    No Free to Breathe event in your area? You can still create community and have a huge impact right where you are. That’s what Kelly Wilder did by building Crossroads Cruizers for a Cure, raising nearly $14,000 in the past six years while honoring loved ones affected by lung cancer.

    This year’s walk was held June 3 in Franklinton, NC. The community is called Mitchiner’s Crossroads, giving the event its name. “We’re a small community, small town, so everyone pretty much knows everyone else,” Kelly explained. Unfortunately, lung cancer has touched many families. Kelly’s dad, Larry Wilder, died of lung cancer in 2012. Others memorialized by the event have included Jean Pace, Rick Jenkins, Margaret Pace, Burley Clark, and Reuben Cannady. Their family members have been loyal participants every year.

    Kelly initiated the event with the encouragement of her niece, Jamie Lyn Bowers Abbott, who was a college student at the time. She created a community event using tools provided by Free to Breathe. The 2017 page is at this link.

    For those thinking about starting their own community event, Kelly advised, “Don’t feel bad about asking for participation. People will or won’t support you – but if you don’t ask, they won’t.” She also recommends using your Free to Breathe fundraising page link in social media to make sure that all money donated goes directly to the organization.

    Find out more about putting together your own event by visiting

    Top photo from left: Jamie and her husband Tom, Kelly and her college roommate Susan Trimmer.


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