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BUFFALO, NEW YORK; OCTOBER 4, 2008-ECMC Lifeline Foundation today held its twelfth annual "5K Run & Healthwalk" fundraiser.  The newly named event now called, "Western New York Runs for Heroes" was held in Delaware Park, at the Marcy Casino on Lincoln Parkway at Hoyt Lake-a new Buffalo location for this year.  Since its inception, area police officers injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC have been honored during this event.  Last year, a firefighter injured in the line of duty and treated at ECMC was honored.  The event was further expanded for this year to honor not only Western New York firefighters and police officers injured in the line of duty, but also to recognize physicians, nurses, and other emergency lifesavers. 

"‘WNY Runs for Heroes' 5K Run & Healthwalk" honorees are: Buffalo Police Officer Patricia Parete (in recognition) and Buffalo Police Officer Carl Andolina; Buffalo Firefighter Mark Reed; Lockport Police Officer Steven D. Ritchie and Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert; and Jamestown Police Detective David Mitchell. 

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 and continues in rehabilitation elsewhere.  Officer Andolina, a 5K Run & Healthwalk honoree (for the second consecutive year) will be present during the event. 

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.  Firefighter Reed is a 5K Run & Healthwalk honoree (for the second consecutive 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.  This year, as returning honorees, both Chief Eggert (for fifth Consecutive year) and Officer Ritchie (for fourth consecutive year) are expected to participate in the event as health walkers.

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 will participate once again in the run as a returning honoree (for the eighth consecutive year). 

5K Run & Healthwalk competitions included the competitive run as well as a health walk.  The health walk began at 10:00 A.M., and the run (including a race-walk) began at 10:30 A.M.  All adult registrants received a t-shirt, refreshments and food, and opportunities to win door prizes at the post-event picnic held at the Marcy Casino.

The course is USA Track & Field certified, sanctioned by the USATF and certified to be accurate by the USATF #NY02009AM.  Prizes for the run went to overall female and male winners (no duplicate awards), as well as the first three male and female winners in each of 16 age groups.  A special prize for anyone breaking the WNY 5K record-breaking time was also available.  Corporate teams, including ECMC departments, were eligible for team prizes. 

Co-chairpersons of this event for 2008 were: Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson and ECMC Lifeline Foundation Board Vice President Clifton M. Bergfeld of the law firm Watson Bennett.  The ECMC Lifeline Foundation Executive Director is Gia Coone. 

For more information about the ECMC Lifeline Foundation, the 5K Run & Healthwalk for 2009, and/or other upcoming ECMC Lifeline Foundation events, those interested should contact Debi Jamieson of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation at 716-898-5800 or djamieso@ecmc.edu

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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