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August 3, 2014

U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano, WNBC Reporter Brynn Gingras, and Yankees enthusiast and Bleacher Creature leader “Bald Vinny” launch event; 100% of funds raised directly support innovative cancer research by brilliant early career scientists

New York, NY (August 3, 2014) - More than 2,300 baseball fans, runners, walkers, cancer survivors, and their friends and family gathered at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, August 3rd for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation’s sixth annual Runyon 5K.

One of New York’s most unique summer events, the Runyon 5K is the only charitable run/walk that uses the iconic Stadium as its course. This year’s event raised more than $500,000 – and counting – for the nonprofit’s groundbreaking efforts to strike out cancer. Since inception, the event has raised more than $3.5 million dollars.

Runners were welcomed to the Stadium by Damon Runyon President and CEO Lorraine Egan, U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano, WNBC 4 reporter Brynn Gingras, and Yankees enthusiast and Bleacher Creature leader “Bald Vinny.”

“Over the past six years, the proceeds from the Runyon 5K have allowed us to fund amazing cancer researchers doing incredible work,” Egan said. "Our 5K participants have made breakthroughs possible – it’s as simple as that.”

Runners were welcomed by a greeting video – displayed on the centerfield video board – from the event's Official Ambassador, Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner. The event's top fundraiser will win a chance to meet Gardner and two tickets to a ballgame.

The event – which launched inside Gate 4 at 9:30 AM – featured an initial wave of competitive runners – and Damon Runyon-funded young cancer researchers – followed by heats of recreational runners and walkers, with the last heat taking off in the early afternoon. The top finisher – for the second year in a row – was Matt Lowenthal, 28, from Woodhaven, Queens, at just under 22 minutes.

The course wound through the legendary ballpark’s concourses and ramps, leading adventurous runners up the stairs between levels. All participants appeared on the centerfield video board as they took two laps around the warning track circling the field. Friends, family and supporters watched the race from the Delta SKY360° Suite overlooking home plate, mingling with the Damon Runyon scientists their contributions help support.

Participants ranged in age from 5 to 78 years old, and hailed from 26 states. You can read some of their stories at the Runyon 5K Tumblr blog here.

As always, 100% of all donations raised by participants will directly support the nation’s most brilliant young scientists, pursuing cures for all forms of cancer.

The Runyon 5K is the latest chapter in the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation’s long history with the Yankees.  After the Foundation’s establishment in 1946, Joe DiMaggio was on its Board of Directors and Mickey Mantle was an active fundraiser.  Damon Runyon himself was a New York writer who began his career as a baseball journalist, revolutionizing how the game was covered and often reporting on Yankees games.

The 2014 Runyon 5K was presented by MetLife Foundation, with additional support from Brick-Run Sports Physical Therapy, NYSID, Riverdale Chrysler Jeep, Poland Spring, Health Warrior, Cabot, 24 Hour Fitness, NBC 4 New York, New Era, New York Post, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and the New York Yankees.

CONTACTS: Jeff Simmons,, 917-673-0024, and Rachel Klein,, 917-209-9794