The annual Cures for the Colors will be held April 21 at Wayne Community College.

The event is a fundraiser for cancer patients through Southeastern Cancer Care.

This year's fundraiser will be a color run.

"As you run through, you'll get splashed with colors, an FDA-regulated power," said Lee Parrish, SCC coordinator. "The shirt you'll be wearing, the color powder adheres to the material in it. So you'll kind of create your own shirt.

"If you like blue, then you'll run heavily through the blue station. If you don't, then you can just run around that station and they'll know not to splash you with color."

Parrish said for any of the events, those who are not interested in the color run can run around all five color stations.

"With us being Cures for the Colors, we wanted to do something different this year and really focus on the physical fitness aspect of the event," Parrish said. "That can help prevent a diagnosis like cancer.

"And Wayne County does not have a color run. It's popular and they're all around us. We thought that it would be cool to bring that to the community and hopefully engage the youths and civic and social organizations."

Parrish said in past years, one highlight of the event has been a lantern release. But regulations prevent that this year.

"We had to take the event in a different direction and try to find a niche to still make it something exclusive, but fun and engaging," he said.

Fitness activities at Cures for the Colors include a new half marathon that starts at 6:30 a.m. (time qualifier) with a fee of $50; a 5K individual run that starts at 8 a.m. (timed and color optional) with a fee of $35; a team 5K run that starts at 9 a.m. (not timed and color optional) with a fee of $35; and a 1 mile fun run that starts at 9:15 a.m. (not timed and color optional) with a fee of $20.

"'We have a lot of people who will get out there and run specifically in memory or in honor of a loved one," Parrish said. "They'll put together a team. Maybe run for their grandfather, sister, neighbor. We've had churches come out and run for a certain member of the church. Everybody seems to have their own reason for why they're out there participating."

To make sure you receive a shirt, you must register by April 7. Otherwise, you can sign up the day of the event.

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There will also be a drawing for a quilt made by the late Marion Atkins Adair during Cures for the Colors.

The first Cures for the Colors was held in 2011, by Dr. James Atkins with Southeastern Medical Oncology Center.

"The walk/run is important for many reason," he said. "First, it's important for cancer patients to walk as walking will improve the function of the heart, lungs and muscles. Walking also helps to reduce side effects of chemotherapy, and it helps to improve memory -- both problems that we see in our cancer patients. We have a problem in America, that being inactivity, and with that comes a lot of health problems. So if we can get people more active, they can be healthier and have a better quality of life."

Proceeds from the event go to help oncology patients.

"We chose the things to support such as food and gas because people will frequently not buy food when they have other bills to pay," Atkins said. "That way, they will have the building blocks in their bodies to help their bodies heal as they deal with cancer.

"There are people in Wayne County that also have to pay family members to bring them to the doctor's offices to help with gas for the car. People have trouble getting to the office to get the therapy that they need to cure their cancer; we did not want not having money for gas to be one of the reasons."

Atkins also said that some cancer patients have trouble paying their water and electric bills and are at risk of getting these services cut off, even though they had no problems with them before the cancer. So proceeds help them with their utilities, too."

Last year's event raised $104,000 with about 775 participants.