The sixth annual Peggy Bock Memorial Race for Hope will be held Sunday, Oct. 11, at 10:30 a.m. at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road.

The sixth annual Peggy Bock Memorial Race for Hope will be held Sunday, Oct. 11, at 10:30 a.m. at Upper Arlington High School, 1650 Ridgeview Road.

Event organizer Carleen Taylor founded the race in 2004 to raise awareness when her close friend Peggy Bock was in treatment for colon cancer. Bock and her husband sent out e-mails to friends letting them know they planned to participate in a walkathon in Virginia to raise funds for colon cancer.

"I had just run a race, the Dublin Irish Festival" upon receiving Bock's e-mail, Taylor said. "I thought 'Wow, there were a lot of people at this race.' I had just started running more seriously at that point and thought, 'Wow, why don't I start a race?'"

Taylor, who lives in Worthington, decided to hold the race in Upper Arlington to draw on local support.

"(Bock) went to Upper Arlington High School and graduated from Upper Arlington," Taylor said. "Her mom still lives there and her brothers and aunts and uncles. That's where we started the race, because that's where she grew up."

Bock died three weeks before the first race, leaving behind a husband and four children. Though devastated by Bock's untimely death, Taylor was more determined than ever to raise money and awareness to help fight all forms of cancer.

The cause is close to Taylor's heart, since she lost her father and several relatives to various forms of cancer. Taylor's mother is also a cancer survivor.

"I want to do what I can to help other people and take a little bit of the hopelessness away," Taylor said.

The Race for Hope will include live entertainment by Arnett Howard, free food and healthy cooking demonstrations, health and wellness information tables and free massages provided by Ohio Family & Sports Chiropractic.

Children's activities include making cards for cancer patients and creating sand art with different colored sand representing various forms of cancer that family members may be suffering from. There will be raffles for items donated by local businesses and gift bags with gift cards and coupons for area restaurants.

A post-race awards ceremony will recognize the top runners in each age group as well as an outstanding volunteer who has helped people suffering from cancer. Michael Caliguiri, CEO of the James Cancer Hospital, will offer remarks and Taylor will present the Hope Award to someone who is actively battling cancer.

"I get someone to donate manicures or pedicures, so they can at least have a little bit of pampering to help take the edge off, even if it's just for a couple of hours," Taylor said.

The Race for Hope draws 250 to 300 people each year from all over central Ohio and beyond. Many participants are cancer survivors, Taylor said.

"It's giving them a place to come to walk and take their mind off things," she said, "and feel a community feeling with other people that are in the same situation."

Over the past five years, the Race for Hope has raised an estimated $60,000. Proceeds go to the James Cancer Hospital, the Columbus Cancer Clinic and the Wellness Community.

"It's gotten bigger" each year, Taylor said. "People look forward to it. Every year I have people coming up to me saying, 'Thanks for doing this.'"

Volunteers and donations for the raffle are still being accepted. For registration and more information, visit www.raceforhope.com.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com