Throwing color for the cure

The race benefited various cancer charities.

The race benefited various cancer charities.

Olivia Foster, Staff Writer

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Color flew in the air at Sherwood Island State Park where this year’s Phoebe’s Phriends Color Flash kicked off at 10 a.m Sept. 27. The race debuted last year with 1700 runners and raised $60,000. This year, nearly 2500 people ran and they raised close to $75,000.

“The coolest moment is when I get to stand and look out over all the runners. That’s when I really feel the community support and see the community rallying around a cause that is very important to me,” Phoebe Spear ’17 said, the driving force behind the organization.

Spear was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma when she 11 and Leukemia at 13. Phoebe’s Phriends is a non-profit organization Phoebe started with her mother Ellen Spear in an effort to give back to others going through the insurmountable battle that is cancer.

The organization raises money to fund trials and research for pediatric cancer, one of the most underfunded areas of cancer research. Less than five percent of federal government funding for cancer research goes to pediatric cancer. Thanks to Color Flash sponsors, all of the proceeds from the event go directly to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where Spear was treated.

Not only was the race a hit this year, but crowds of hungry runners waited in line to get Melt sandwiches, Bodega tacos and Mr. Softee ice cream, three of the many food trucks waiting at the finish line.

Hallie Spear ’18, Phoebe’s sister, said her family has spent the past week preparing by sorting colors, glasses and t-shirts for pre-registered runners.

     “Seeing everyone come together is awesome. When you see how much money we raised, that’s the best,” younger Spear said.

There was a lot of action behind the scenes of the race as well. Anna Greenspan ’18, a member of the Phoebe’s Phriends Club, said that it takes work to get everyone signed up and ready to run, but that it’s worth it in the end.    

     “It’s a good opportunity to help out and hangout with friends. You can’t beat having a good time and raising money to help pediatric cancer.”

Many Staples students also joined the volunteer crowd. Everyone was decorated with bright colors, tutus, sunglasses and hats. The Staples varsity football team threw color and the SLOBS also helped out.

Aaron Samuels ’16, a member of Staples Orphenians, sang the National Anthem with an octet. “The enthusiasm was incredible. I was surprised at the number of excited supporters.”

Color-filled smiles packed the crowd as participants gathered at the finish line in a mosh-pit like heap to jump and throw more color while the DJ blasted tunes over the speakers.
        “I really enjoyed the color flash,” Sophie Carrozza ’18 said . “I think it’s a great event for a great cause. And it just keep getting more fun every year.”