Walt Kyle Mile walk for cancer held Saturday

Ray Bressette

The seventh annual River Valley Bank Walt Kyle Mile and 5K Dash will take place this weekend to raise support for cancer patients at the Beacon House Hospitality House.

The event is hosted by NMU hockey head coach Walt Kyle, a two-time cancer survivor. Kyle and the NMU hockey team will be present at the 5K run, which will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 in the parking lot of Berry Events Center.

Kyle said the hockey program is proud to help raise awareness for those suffering from cancer.

“Being a two-time cancer survivor myself, I know how difficult times with it can be,” Kyle said. “A message we send to our guys and players here at NMU is when you’re in the community, you have an obligation to try and help the people of that community. I think this is a great example of an opportunity to do that, and our guys not only have that opportunity, they’re taking advantage to do that and be a part of this.”

Participants will have the choice to walk or run one, two or three miles, which will head down Third Street, stretch to the shore of Lake Superior and work back to Berry Events Center.

Mary Tavernini-Dowling, the CEO of the Beacon House said she looks forward to the event every year.

“The Walt Kyle Mile is definitely one of our favorite fundraising events we’ve ever done at the Beacon House,” Dowling said. “To have someone like Northern’s hockey coach get involved with a fundraiser is pretty exciting in itself, but when we learned he’s passionate about making life just a little easier for people who are fighting cancer, it just makes the whole situation that much more meaningful.”

Registration for walking participants will be $10 per person, or $20 for a t-shirt. For participants in the 5K run, registration will be $20, or $30 with a T-shirt.

Registration will be accepted from 8 to 8:30 a.m. outside Berry Events Center.

Assistant hockey coach and former Wildcat player Rob Lehtinen said Kyle has always been a class act.

“Walt is just such a real inspiration as his past battling through cancer,” Lehtinen said. “He’s helped me throughout my playing career and has been my mentor. He’s given me so many opportunities from offering me a coaching job here as well as giving me the chance to play college hockey here. I’ve always looked up to Walt in all aspects.

“He’s a players coach, he always has a  ‘door’s always open’ type policy with everyone and he builds great relationships with all of his players.”

The Kyle Mile is hoping to reach its goal of $20,000 raised through this year’s event. The event will be catered by Subway.

Kyle said the community should be proud of their charitable support.

“The people in this community come back year after year because they’re always willing to help others that need help, and I don’t mean just Marquette, it’s across the whole Upper Peninsula,” Kyle said. “This is a great community to live in, and one of the reasons is the people here have this compassion and feeling towards each other where they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help one another, which really makes this such a great place and I couldn’t be more proud.”

For more information on the run, call the Beacon House at (906)-225-7100.