News>Charity run raises money for American Cancer Society
Airman 1st Class Joshua Guisasola finishes the Relay for Life April 2, 2011, at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq. Nearly 200 people participated in the event, raising nearly than $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. Airman Guisasola is vehicle maintainer assigned to the 321st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. (Courtesy photo)
Staff Sgt. Tyler McInturff finishes the Relay for Life 5K April 2, 2011, at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq. Sergeant McInturff organized the run, raising nearly $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. He is assigned to the 321st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. (Courtesy photo)
by Tech. Sgt. Jason Lake
321st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
4/13/2011 - KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq (AFNS) -- Six weeks after Staff Sgt. Tyler McInturff deployed here in January, he received news that his aunt had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"Being my godmother, she's been very close to me my whole life," said Sergeant McInturff, the 321st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution NCO in charge. "I wanted to support her in her fight from afar since I could not be with her."
That's when Sergeant McInturff talked to his co-worker about an upcoming charity event near Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The two Airmen decided to bring it up to the base's committee for junior NCOs, commonly known as the 5/6 Club.
"(Before) deploying, I was asked by the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life coordinator, Dee Hayhurst, if I would be interested in doing something for Niceville's upcoming event while serving in Iraq," said Staff Sgt. James Fillers, a 321st ELRS fuels accounting technician. "Once I got to Kirkuk (Regional Air Base), a week later, Sergeant McInturff and I (pitched) the idea of doing something for the relay."
After weeks of coordination and help from volunteers, the plan was in place to hold a 5K Relay for Life Run/Walk April 2. Despite all the planning and preparations, the organizers were caught off guard by the show of support when the day finally arrived.
"I never could have imagined us having the turnout we did here at a deployed location," Sergeant McInturff said after nearly 200 people showed up for the event. "I anticipated around 30 or so members and set our initial goal for donations at $1,000, which as it turned out, we almost reached in cash donations alone."
Sergeant McInturff said he was proud when he saw not only Airmen and Soldiers show up to the event, but Iraqis and U.S. contractors, as well.
"It was a perfect example of the many different people from different services, even different parts of the world, coming together for a single cause, he said. That is what made this such an awesome event."
Nearly $4,000 in cash donations and online contributions were raised.