Conway firefighters hope an event planned for downtown this weekend will support a larger effort some have undertaken to support local cancer patients in treatment.
Firefighters for the Cure, with events slated for Friday and Saturday, will benefit the Hearts on Fire Program started this year by Conway Fire Department with the goal to meet practical needs of cancer patients and their families who live in Faulkner County.
Mark McEntire, a Central Station engineer spearheading the Hearts on Fire program, said these needs may be assisting with yard work, house cleaning, purchasing a wig, providing spa treatments, or maybe buying some flowers "to brighten their day."
McEntire said firefighters are committed to meeting the needs of the patients and their families, "but most of all we want to provide hope, faith, courage, support and especially love."
McEntire’s inspiration for the program is his wife, Carie.
She is a breast cancer survivor of seven years.
"My wife was an inspiration to me. What got to me was her understanding and support for the other people who got diagnosed. We could be at a ball game or in a movie, and if she got a call from someone who had been diagnosed, nothing else mattered," he said. "She’ll sit on the phone with someone for hours. She drops whatever to be there for that person because that’s how she was treated."
Firefighters for the Cure beings Friday at 5 p.m. with a pasta dinner at Michelangelo’s downtown. Following the dinner is a fire department hosted block party with at Simon Park, where participants in Saturday’s Men for Mammaries 5K can pick up their race packets.
The race starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and is open to men and women of all ages and speeds.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, breast cancer and childhood cancer survivors are encouraged to meet at Bank of America at Harkrider and Main streets for the Survivor’s Parade.
Survivors should wear pink, and they will be escorted by firefighters from across the state. There will also be a procession of new and antique fire trucks, bag pipers, and honor guards from various departments.
The parade kicks off at noon.
Throughout the day Saturday, entertainment, food, and vendors will center around Simon Park.
A fire engine pull competition will be held throughout the day between various departments and corporate teams. McEntire said more teams are welcome to sign up for the event.
Entertainment at Kris Allen stage includes performances by Luke Williams at 5:30 p.m., Cory Lamb at 7 p.m. and Riverbilly at 8:30 p.m.
Yesteryear plays Friday at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about the events or about Hearts on Fire, contact Mark McEntire at 514-0237.
Visit www.firefightersforthecure.org to sign up for events and to get a complete schedule.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)