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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 23, 2012
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Leesylvania State Park to Host Hike for the Cause Aug. 11

Woodbridge, VA - Leesylvania State Park, in Prince William County, will host the annual Hike for the Cause charity event on Aug. 11 to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Hikers can register by calling 703-583-6904 or visiting http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=121459. On-site registration begins at 7 a.m., and the hike is from 9 - 11 a.m. The cost is $25.

The hike covers four miles of multi-surface terrain, through the park's historical, wooded trails bordering the Potomac River.

The day also includes kid's activities, prizes, refreshments and the rock band Soul Gravity in concert. The concert begins at 5 p.m. and is sponsored by Steve's Auto Repair and the Friends of Leesylvania. Concert admission is free for participants, but a $5 parking fee will apply to non-participants.

Leesylvania's Hike for the Cause debuted in August 2011 and raised enough money to pay for mammograms for 16 at-risk women.

"One hundred percent of the money raised is for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The money  goes to funding and providing breast health education and screenings for medically underserved women," said chief ranger and event coordinator Sarah Percival. 

For Percival, the event is also a celebration of cancer survivor and dedicated park volunteer, Cindy Buck-Thompson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010.

"Cindy is not only a volunteer, but also a courageous friend who has overcome so much over the years," Percival said. "We want to continue this tradition so that we can raise awareness and show support through this worthy cause."

Today, Buck-Thompson is a cancer survivor and continues to support and volunteer in the park.

"This event means a lot to me and my family," Buck-Thompson said. "I appreciate it, more than I can express."

How Buck-Thompson is feeling the morning of the hike will determine if she'll join in the hike, but park staff, including Percival, will hike with participants as supporters for the cause.

Leesylvania hosts a variety of benefit events throughout the year, but Hike for the Cause has become a signature event largely because it means so much to so many at the park.

"Many of our staff and volunteers have been affected directly or indirectly by breast cancer, and this event is a tribute to the survivors, as well as to the courage of those who have faced or lost their lives to this disease," explains Park Manager Karen Lambey. "Hike for the Cause is our way of showing support."

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation for one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.


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