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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; OCTOBER 16, 2010-The ECMC Lifeline Foundation is holding its fourteenth annual 5K run and healthwalk fundraiser on Saturday, October 16, 2010.  This year, the "Western New York Runs for Heroes 5K Run & Healthwalk," takes place at the Parkside Lodge and Ring Road in Delaware Park.  The event honors Western New York police officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC.  In 2008, the event was further expanded to recognize physicians, nurses, and other emergency life-savers. 

WNY Runs for Heroes honorees include: Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed; Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete; Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina; Lockport Police Officer Steven D. Ritchie; Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert; and Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell. 

Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed was transported to ECMC on June 10, 2007, after a brick chimney collapsed on him while fighting an arson fire in a vacant house in the City.  Reed arrived at ECMC with multiple, life-threatening injuries.  Yet, after undergoing multiple surgeries and extensive care, Reed was discharged from ECMC on August 1, 2007.  Since that time, Mark has made incredible strides in his recovery and volunteers weekly in the trauma unit at ECMC.  Firefighter Reed, a 5K Run & Healthwalk honoree, is participating in the healthwalk again this year. 

On December 5, 2006, Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete and her partner Officer Carl Andolina were dispatched to a downtown gas station where a fight had been reported.  The officers chased a suspect and ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets when he then began shooting at both officers at point blank range. 

Officer Andolina tackled him to the ground.  Both officers were injured in the gun battle, with Officer Parete sustaining severe injuries from a gunshot to the spine.  Officer Andolina was shot three times, treated at ECMC and discharged.  Officer Parete underwent extensive emergency/trauma surgery and care at ECMC.  Officers Parete and Andolina are 5K Run & Healthwalk honorees (for the fourth year). 

Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert and Officer Steven Ritchie were injured in the line of duty in February of 2003, during a gun battle with a man they pursued for shooting a Lockport bar patron and riddling a building with bullets with a semi-automatic weapon.  Both officers were injured and treated by ECMC emergency/trauma teams.  Ritchie was brought to ECMC in critical condition.  Chief Eggert and Officer Ritchie are returning honorees (for the seventh year).  Officer Ritchie has participated in the healthwalk (for five years).  This year, both Officer Ritchie and Chief Eggert will compete as runners. 

In September of 1999, after sustaining life-threatening injuries when shot in the line of duty, Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell was transported to ECMC for emergency, trauma, and follow-up care.  Detective Mitchell is a tenth year honoree and will compete as a runner in the 5K event (for the tenth consecutive year). 

WNY Runs for Heroes 2010 co-chairpersons are: ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Member and Rural Metro Division General Manager Aiden Bradley; and ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Member and Buffalo Ultrasound President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Straeck.  The ECMC Lifeline Foundation Executive Director is Gia Alessandra Coone. 

WNY Runs for Heroes 5K Run & Healthwalk competitions include the competitive run as well as a healthwalk.  The course is USA Track & Field certified and sanctioned by the USATF.   Proceeds from the event will benefit the Medical Center's Adult Regional Trauma Center and patient centered care. 

For more information about the ECMC Lifeline Foundation and/or ECMC Lifeline Foundation events, those interested should contact Director of Development Lori Bannister (lbannister@ecmc.edu) or Special Events/Office Administrator Debi Jamieson (djamieso@ecmc.edu) of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation at 716-898-5800. 

The ECMC Lifeline Foundation, Inc. was created as a not-for-profit corporation with a mission to assist ECMC in establishing the resources needed to support the medical center's Adult Regional Trauma Center and its Culture of Care through excellence in medical and customer services.  Since ECMC is now an independent Public Benefit Corporation and is no longer a part of Erie County, it seeks to receive support from the community it has helped for so long and from those who may need its services in the future. 

NEWS CONTACT: Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 -or- jcirillo@ecmc.edu


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