As she stood at the entrance of Windsor Drive, microphone in hand, surrounded by those wearing blue shirts that read, “Race Against The Odds,” Sophia Rego welcomed friends, family, and newcomers to North Attleborough’s The Cure Starts Now annual fundraiser.
“Thank you all for coming,” Rego told the crowd on Sept. 10. “We are all glad you can come for this event, it means a lot to our neighborhood.”
Rego, 14, spent her Saturday organizing, hosting, and running in the three-kilometer race with three laps around the Highland Meadow/Sequoia Circle area. The event, which began six years ago, was created to honor Nicole Mackintosh, a neighbor of Bostock who passed away from brain cancer on Aug. 30, 2011.
Rego, who could not attend the first Cure Starts Now relay in Rhode Island in 2011, created a smaller event in her neighborhood. Today, she and her friends are still holding the event, and are responsible for advertising and getting the word out to friends or those wanting to run for a good cause.
“We print out signs and put them in neighborhoods nearby and we post them on social media,” she said. “We also had neighbors post it on their social media.”
The Cure Starts Now is an organization that holds relays and runs meetings to raise money for cancer research. John Mackintosh, the father of Nichole Mackintosh, established a Massachusetts chapter for the organization with his wife. He has participated in every North Attleborough relay since its inception.
“This is my sixth one,” he said. “It’s entirely organized by the kids and they’ve been our neighbors since Nichole passed away from cancer.”
An estimated 25 to 30 runners were at the event—a small drop in turnout from last year’s 50. According to Rego, this decrease is likely due to the event being held after Labor Day, and many runners are currently involved with their jobs.
Regardless, many runners, such as James Philip, 4, said he did not mind, and was just excited to be running for a good cause.
“I like running,” Philip said. “I want to do a good thing for people.”