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The official charitable partner for the last 19 years and again for the 20th Annual Raccoon Run is Life with Cancer.

inova-lwc.pngCancer is a disease that touches almost all of us. Whether it affects a mother, brother, sister, relative or friend, Cancer is a real part of all our lives. People are faced with many challenges as they grapple with their own fears and the fears of loved ones. Life with Cancer is there to help. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer by providing education, information and support.

Since 1988, Life with Cancer has become the region’s leading cancer education and support organization offering the tools needed to deal with the disease and manage the quality of life while living with cancer. It offers special programs for children, teens and all family members who have a family member with cancer or who are battling cancer themselves. Life with Cancer, under the Inova Health System Foundation, a 501 c(3) organization, offers all program services entirely free to anyone with cancer and their loved ones, regardless of their treatment location.

By participating in the Mantua Raccoon Run, you are making a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. The proceeds help support Life with Cancer and its new Family Center, located at 8411 Pennell Street in Fairfax– just around the corner off Route 50 near Fairfax Hospital. This new facility houses all Life with Cancer programs including a resource library, kitchen, exercise studio, art studio, classrooms, private counseling rooms, play ground and garden. For more information about Life with Cancer, visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Mantua Elementary School Kids Care Club
The Mantua Kids Care Club was established in 1997 as part of the nationwide Kids Care Club, which now counts more than 1,800 registered clubs around the world. The mission of the Mantua Kids Care Club is to help those less fortunate and encourage Mantua students to participate in community service activities. The Kids Care Club is a voluntary organization open to all children in Kindergarten through sixth grade. The club meets after school approximately once a month. Some of the numerous activities and community service projects that the Mantua Kids Care Club has participated in are:

  • Creating and hanging bird feeders around Mantua Elementary
  • Raking leaves for senior citizens in Mantua
  • Creating and maintaining garden(s) at Mantua Elementary
  • Assisting with the annual Roberta Romano Raccoon Run
  • Organizing various collection boxes

It’s a great way for the children to be involved and show that Mantua kids really do care! For more information about the Kids Care Club, visit: www.mantuapta.org

  Young Hearts Foundation    

Young HeartsThe Raccoon Run has partnered with another community organization that grew out of grief for the lose of one of our own. In 1997, Ryan McLaughlin, a Mantua ES 6th grader, began his battle with Leukemia. He lost his battle in 1999, but his family carried on his name and memory by forming the Young Hearts Foundation.  Young Hearts, led by Ryan’s older sister, Mary, began as the name of the team that participated in the 2000 DC Light the Night Walk benefiting the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. The name took hold and over the years, the team has grown and been led by the students of our community. In 2008, it became an official non-profit, and in 2009, Young Hearts became an after-school club at W.T. Woodson high school carrying on its mission to fight against leukemia as well as other diseases affecting the families in our community.

This year, the Young Hearts Foundation/W.T. Woodson Young Hearts Club is partnering with the Raccoon Run in support of  Life with Cancer. For more information about The Young Hearts Foundation, visit www.YoungHeartsFoundation.org



The mission of 2Unstoppable, a non-profit, is to partner women diagnosed with cancer with other women to encourage and support physical and emotional fitness during and after cancer treatment.

2Unstoppable was founded by our neighbor and friends, Michelle Stravitz and Ilana Gamerman, both breast cancer survivors. Early in their personal cancer journey, they realized the many benefits of staying active during and after treatment. Now, they want to help other women on their cancer journey experience the benefits of exercise. Michelle and Ilana know firsthand how difficult it is to summon the energy to be active during cancer treatment. Their friends were instrumental in keeping them moving! Realizing that everyone can benefit from a partner to inspire and motivate us to move, they created 2Unstoppable, to help women with a cancer diagnosis find the right exercise partner.

Using a free online matching program, women will be matched based on needs, interests, and abilities. Sign Up today for free and you’ll be on your way to finding your own fitness partner!

In addition, 2Unstoppable is a one-stop source for oncology fitness resources and community to help you get active and stay active. Join them for one of their many events and find emotional and fitness support among other women like you!  Visit, 2Unstoppable.org