ALTON - The 15th annual Alton Miles for Meso 5K Race and 3K Fun Run/Walk was once again a huge success.
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On Saturday, Sept. 23, community members enjoyed a family-friendly morning with bounce houses, vendors, live music and food. Runners and walkers raced through downtown Alton in support of people with mesothelioma. All proceeds went to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
“It’s about the community and it’s about the charity,” said Todd Adamitis, Chief Operating Officer with Simmons Hanly Conroy. “We’re actually fighting for the end of the disease, which would put us out of business. That’s what we’re all about. It’s a horrible, horrible disease.”
Simmons Hanly Conroy, a national law firm that specializes in mesothelioma lawsuits, sponsors the Miles for Meso event. The law firm started the race in Alton in 2009. Today, over ten states organize annual Miles for Meso races, which have collectively raised almost $900,000 for organizations like ADAO.
Linda Reinstein, co-founder of ADAO, took to the stage on Saturday to share the organization’s mission. She told the crowd about her husband’s mesothelioma diagnosis and her work to ban asbestos in the U.S.
“I realized, I got to put on some boxing gloves for this fight of a lifetime. How many of you had to put on boxing gloves?” Reinstein asked. “Our community keeps growing. I’m thankful to all of you who don’t take off your boxing gloves because if we stand strong and we fight together, we can win.”
She encourages people to contact their senators and representatives to push for an asbestos ban. ADAO works to educate people about asbestos-related diseases and advocate for those who have been affected.
As people cooled down from the race and enjoyed the festivities, Adamitis reminded attendees that the day was meant to be a “celebration.” Both Adamitis and Reinstein acknowledged those in the crowd who have personal experience with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. They voiced their support for the community and vowed to continue their work.
“None of us will ever forget or stop our fight,” Reinstein added. “Together, we make change happen. And we are grateful to all of you for allowing us to benefit from the support and race. From our family to yours, thank you.”
For more information about the Miles for Mesothelioma event, visit the official website at MilesForMesothelioma.org. Check out the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization website (AsbestosDiseaseAwareness.org) to learn about their work and how you can support them.
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