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Dempsey Challenge Participant Registration Officially Open

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 General News J E 4
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LEWISTON, Maine, Feb. 1 Registration for the second annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen is officially open and are accepted through the event website www.dempseychallenge.org . The non-competitive, fundraising event serves as the primary fundraiser for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center, in Lewiston, ME, which provides free support, education and wellness services to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100201/CL46913 )

Due to the popularity of the inaugural event, the Challenge has been expanded to a two-day format featuring run/walk distances of 5K and 10K on Saturday, Oct. 2 and cycling distances of 10, 25, 50 and 100-miles on Sunday, Oct. 3. Participant caps of 4,000 have been set for the run/walk and 3,500 for cycling. Each event will begin and end at Simard-Payne Police Memorial Park in Lewiston, Maine.

Dempsey Challenge event organizers are focused on providing an exceptional experience for everyone involved, as well as raising needed funds to aid the Dempsey Center. In addition to the required entry fee of $35 for the run/walk and $75 for cycling, a required fundraising minimum of $150 has been set for each registrant 18 years and over.

"The outpouring of support for this event has been incredible," said Patrick Dempsey, film and television actor and founder of the Dempsey Center. "It shows that anything is possible when people unite for a cause. I'm excited about the new two-day format and connecting with this community once again."

The inaugural one-day event attracted a maximum 3,500 participants from 32 states and four countries, over 600 volunteers and raised over one-million dollars. Dempsey participated in the 50-mile ride, alongside professional cyclists George Hincapie, David Zabriskie, Stephen Roche and Ted King. Dempsey created the event as a fundraising vehicle for the Dempsey Center and to promote physical activity as an important part of daily life.

Amgen, a biotechnology company that makes medicines for people with serious illnesses including cancer, signed on in 2009, the inaugural year of the Dempsey Challenge, as the event's title sponsor. The sponsorship provides Amgen an opportunity to expand the reach of its Breakaway from CancerŪ initiative, which aims to increase awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients, from prevention to education and patient care to advocacy and financial support.

"Amgen is pleased to return this year as presenting sponsor of the Dempsey Challenge," said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager of Amgen Oncology. "Amgen' s Breakaway from Cancer initiative and the Dempsey Challenge, which supports the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, complement each other -- both are focused on helping cancer patients get the support, education and wellness services they need."

Returning events include the Festival in the Park on Oct. 3. The Festival hosts a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, live entertainment, participant lobster bake and the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk. Run/Walk participants will enjoy replenishment, plus a smaller version of the Health and Wellness expo, including merchandise and a Kids' Fun Run on Oct. 2.

Event organizers encourage individuals to join in the cause by participating, volunteering or donating through the Dempsey Challenge website.

About the Patrick Dempsey Center for Hope & Healing

The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing was founded in March, 2008 by actor and Maine native Patrick Dempsey in response to his mother' s multiple bouts with ovarian cancer. The Center provides free support, education and wellness services to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. For more information, visit www.dempseycenter.org .

About Breakaway from Cancer Ū

Founded by Amgen in 2005 as a complementary component to the company's sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, Breakaway from Cancer strives to raise awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention to education, and patient care to advocacy and financial support. The initiative includes charitable partners Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Learn more at www.breakawayfromcancer.com

SOURCE The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing
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