Dashing to stamp out ashes

By Portia Williams

November 17, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

More than 120 people came out to be proactive in stomping out tobacco by taking part in the Raven Rock Ash Dash 5k and obstacle course event Saturday.

Wendi Waugh of the SOMC Cancer Center said the purpose of the Ash Dash is to encourage people to abandon use of tobacco to embrace healthier choices.

“The whole thing about this is, stomp out your ashes, do the Ash Dash, replace a negative hobby with a positive hobby,” Waugh said.

The message of abandoning tobacco was reinforced throughout the field where signs were displayed, delivering messages about the negatives of tobacco use.

Robert Crank came from Barboursville, W.Va. to participate in the Raven Rock Ash Dash.

“I had a stroke Feb. 4 of this year because I was a smoker for 17 years. I have not touched a cigarette since February, and I have been running two, and three times a week. When I heard about this event I said, ‘Oh, yes, that’s for me,’ so here I am,” Crank said.

One undeniably noticeable feature on the Ash Dash field was a large, inflated replica of a pair of human lungs. One healthy lung, free of tobacco, and the other a gray lung tainted by exposure to tobacco.

Waugh said much effort was exerted in preparation for hosting the event.

“Jim Kolar, Manager of the Life Center facilities, and Brad Zieber have been out here working all week long getting ready for this,” Waugh said.

Waugh said the Joint Vocational School was a tremendous help as well.

“The Joint Vocational School helped us to make the obstacles. We have a lot of wooden obstacles for people to go up and over. Yesterday, CAPE, the Alternative School came out as a field trip and helped us to fill sand bags, and to rake up,” Waugh said.

The Ash Dash consisted of a schedule of waves from 9 a.m. until noon.

Waugh said the Ash Dash was SOMC’s effort part in helping the community to move in a positive direction as it pertains to tobacco use.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.