LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -An annual run in Lawton that benefits cancer centers and research is being recognized by the state as its Event of the Year.
Spirit of Survival put on each year by Comanche County Memorial Hospital won the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association's RedBud Award for its effort to serve and promote Oklahoma tourism. The RedBud Awards are considered the highest honor given in the state's tourism industry.
Last year's event raised more than $100,000 towards cancer research and hopefully even more this year.
"I think this is an indicator that we're doing things well and providing a good event for people to come in and enjoy, and that's what we want to do," said director of the event, Lori Cummins.
For the past 11 years, Cummins has organized this event specifically for cancer research and helping treat cancer patients at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. It also creates a healthier community by walking and running while attracting tourism to the Lawton area.
"It provides information to the international cancer community helping them find cures for cancer and that's what this is all about," said Cummins.
The multi-race event features a half marathon, quarter marathon, 5K and non-competitive events including the kids' marathon and the Leah M. Fitch spirit walk at Elmer Thomas Park in downtown Lawton. This is the first time the community has received the RedBud Award since 2007, and the first time ever for the hospital.
"It feels really good. It makes us feel like we're validated that maybe we're providing a great service and a good event that people enjoy and hopefully will choose to return to year after year and visit our community," said Cummins.
This year's spirit of survival run will be Sunday, Oct. 2, and you can register online at www.spiritofsurvivalinfo.com.The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association announced the RedBud Award winners at the Oklahoma History Center May 17.