Published on December 13, 2021

Annual Lafarge Presque Isle Quarry Run Raises Funds for Cancer Center

(From left to right): Tim Cordes, plant superintendent, Lafarge Presque Isle; Tim Dittmar, warehouse supervisor, Lafarge Presque Isle; Ashley Worth, administrative assistant, Lafarge Presque Isle; and Terry Belland, maintenance manager, Lafarge Presque Isle, are shown presenting a check supporting the Cancer Center at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena to Steve Hand, imaging services manager, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena; Ann Diamond, fund development director, MyMichigan Health Foundation; Hal Neiman, Development Council chairman, MyMichigan Health Foundation; and Chuck Sherwin, president, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena. Not pictured are Eric Friend, plant manager, Lafarge Presque Isle; and Vicki McCoy, chemical quality/environmental specialist, Lafarge Presque Isle.

(From left to right): Tim Cordes, plant superintendent, Lafarge Presque Isle; Tim Dittmar, warehouse supervisor, Lafarge Presque Isle; Ashley Worth, administrative assistant, Lafarge Presque Isle; and Terry Belland, maintenance manager, Lafarge Presque Isle, are shown presenting a check supporting the Cancer Center at MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena to Steve Hand, imaging services manager, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena; Ann Diamond, fund development director, MyMichigan Health Foundation; Hal Neiman, Development Council chairman, MyMichigan Health Foundation; and Chuck Sherwin, president, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena. Not pictured are Eric Friend, plant manager, Lafarge Presque Isle; and Vicki McCoy, chemical quality/environmental specialist, Lafarge Presque Isle.

Area residents receiving treatment for cancer will experience a comforting environment and have access to enhanced treatment technology thanks in large part to Lafarge Presque Isle’s fundraising efforts.

Lafarge recently presented MyMichigan Health Foundation with the proceeds from its seventh annual Lafarge Quarry Run held in August. This event is a truly unique 5K, one that weaves in and out of the quarry, and brings runners from across the state and beyond. In seven years, the team at Presque Isle has raised $259,000 to help support significant renovations to the treatment areas and provide top-notch equipment in the Alpena Cancer Center.

Tim Cordes, plant superintendent at Lafarge Presque Isle, brought his team to meet with Chuck Sherwin, president, MyMichigan Medical Center – Alpena; Ann Diamond, director of fund development, MyMichigan Health Foundation; Steve Hand, imaging services manager, MyMichigan Medical Center Alpena; and Hal Neiman, chairman of the MyMichigan Health Foundation’s Development Council, to present the proceeds of this year’s event, funds totaling $39,000.

“This 5K is unlike any other,” said Diamond. “It’s an interesting course and we are thrilled that Lafarge offers it in our area. We are so thankful for the support they have given the Cancer Center in the past and we look forward to partnering with them again in the future.”

“We weren’t sure we’d even be able to hold the race this year,” said Cordes. “When we were notified that COVID numbers were low and we got the OK, it was all systems go and all hands-on deck to make it happen. We are so happy that community members and sponsors stepped up to make this the biggest and best 5K yet.” Cordes continued, “We have many employees dealing with cancer and have lost quite a few as well, so we are always happy to give back to the community in a way that supports cancer care in our area.”

This year the race was held in memory of Gary Schuler, a long-time employee of Lafarge Presque Isle, who lost his battle with cancer in December 2020. “Gary was an honorary chair of this race in the past,” said Tim Dittmar, warehouse supervisor at the quarry. “He was a hard worker and a good friend and it was fitting to host this year’s event in his memory.”

Funds raised by Lafarge Presque Isle have gone to support upgrades to patient care areas and state-of-the-art equipment including the new linear accelerator and 3D mammography imaging. “Our Cancer Center, which opened in 2001, has the same equipment that is used at U of M, a hospital that offers the best cancer care in the nation,” said Sherwin. “It’s great to be able to offer patients in Northeast Michigan the same care they would get if they went downstate.”

“Early detection is key,” said Hand. “Currently, only 35 percent of women in the crucial 40-80 year old age group get mammography screenings. Early screenings offer better odds and longer survival rates; if we could just get people to come in and take advantage of these services.”

Neiman concurred, “Patients are reluctant to go to the doctor when they feel healthy, whether it be for a mammogram or a colonoscopy or any of the other preventative screening services offered by the Medical Center. Events like this 5K raise awareness and give exposure of the importance of cancer screenings and it highlights the excellent cancer care we have right here in Alpena.”

“The incidents of cancer in our region have remained about the same; some types are better and some are worse,” said Sherwin. “What we need to do better is find a way to reduce the incidents of cancer. We need to get people to understand the importance of eating right, not smoking and exercising on a regular basis. This 5K quarry run helps with all of that.”

Cordes concluded, “The Presque Isle quarry is a bit of a mystery to most community members; it’s set back, far off the main road. Our hope is that the 5K brings awareness to what the quarry operations are all about as well as bring recognition to the cancer needs in our community. We are happy to be a part of that and are looking forward to hosting this race again.” Next year’s race is scheduled for August 13, 2022. 

Those interested in more information about supporting cancer care at the Medical Center may contact Diamond at (989) 356-7738 or at ann.diamond@midmichigan.org

Those interested in more information about the 2022 Quarry Run may contact Ashley Worth, administrative assist at Lafarge Presque Isle at (989) 595-5883 or ashley.worth@lafargeholcim.com.