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Cancer Scare Doesn't Stop Sochol

No one would have blamed Lori Sochol if she had backed out as last year's chairperson of the Minute Man 5K/10K Race at Compo Beach, which is sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League. Two weeks before the event, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. Not only did Sochol stay on board, but the race had its highest turnout in years with over 1,300 runners.

“I got through because I had something else to focus on,’’ Lori says. “It was a real shock, but I wanted the race to be successful because it is one of our biggest fund-raisers, which helps so many local charities. All the women in the League rallied and came out, and they gave me the support I needed to pull this off.” Afterwards, the WYWL members continued to assist Sochol in her fight. “It was amazing,’’ she says. “They made sure I had dinner every night with the help of my neighbor, Laurie Gendell, coordinating. For five weeks I knew I had someone to turn to any time I needed it.” Lori says her supportive husband, David, helped her through the ordeal and she is now healthy.

Sochol also organizes the A Better Chance of Westport Dream Event, a fund-raiser for a home for boys from disadvantaged areas who attend Staples High School. That event raised over $120,000 this year. Sochol, who is the race director for Sunday’s Minute Man Race, has handled the registration for the race for the past five years. “I love to organize,’’ Lori says. “I did it in Baltimore for Grandparents’ Day at my children’s school so I have experience at it. I can organize pretty much anything.”

Sochol and the WYWL made an important tweak in this year’s race. Race proceeds go to multiple charities, but this year runners could register and Run For A Cause, which allows them to raise money for organizations that they designate from WYWL’s list of charities. The initiative will increase the donations to local charities.

The Minute Man races begin Sunday at 8:30 a.m. There are kids’ races, and a 5K Walk/Run and a 10K Run. Runners can find out more about the race here .  Race day registration will be accepted.

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