CMT News

Music City Takes A "Run On The Row"
New Fan Fair Finale Runs The Distance For Charity
When the traditional, closing festivities have come to an end at this year's 1999 Fan Fair in Nashville, Tennessee, a brand new Saturday event will serve as the week-long finale.

The first annual Run On The Row, which will include a 5K (3.1 miles) run and one mile "fun walk/run" for charity, will kick off early Saturday morning, June 19, on Music City's historical Music Row. Proceeds from the event will benefit Francis Williams Preston Laboratories, a division of the T.J. Martell Foundation at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center in Nashville. The announcement was recently made at a Music Row press conference by celebrity host BlackHawk and sponsor representatives from Arista/Nashville Records and Nashville's SunTrust Bank.

"For those of you who are familiar with the Frances Preston Cancer Research Center here in Nashville," explains BlackHawk's Henry Paul, "we've been really fortunate to be involved in that charity over the last four years with the Country in the Rockies program [one of several Martell Foundation charity events]."

Having undergone successful surgery in February, 1999 to completely remove melanoma (a form of cancer), BlackHawk member Van Stephenson has personally benefited from endeavors of the Preston Laboratory. "I am so pleased to be a part of this run," Stephenson earlier emphasized. "The lab contributed to my expected 100 percent recovery from my cancer. And I'd like to encourage everyone who is blessed with good health to come out and participate in this worthwhile and fun event."

Stephenson's recovery is currently being observed by the staff at the lab at Vanderbilt's Cancer Center.

"Over the past several years, there have been spectacular advances in basic cancer research," further explained the Cancer Center's Dr. Harold Moses. "We concentrate on bringing the benefits of these basic research findings to the patients. Based on the support of the T.J. Martell Foundation, we've been able to establish a number of innovative therapeutic programs, including gene therapy. So the funds raised here will go toward that purpose."

Both the 5k run and one mile "fun walk/run" entry fee is $15 if registration is postmarked by June 9; $17 if mailed after June 9; and $20 for on-site day-of-race registration. Registrants will receive special packets including "Run On The Row" commemorative T-shirts, as well as free admission into the post-run party, featuring a live performance by BlackHawk. Registration will begin on Saturday, June 19, at 6:30 a.m. More information is available on www.twangthis.com.

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