BOW, Wash. — Nearly 90 hikers summited Oyster Dome on March 31 during the inaugural Northwest Cancer Climb, raising over $4,000 to help improve cancer care in resource-poor communities worldwide.
The event benefitted the Binaytara Foundation, a cancer health nonprofit based in Bellingham. Its current projects include establishing a public cancer center in Nepal, expanding hospice and palliative care in India and Nepal, and hosting the 2018 Summit on National and Global Cancer Health Disparities from April 28–29 in Seattle, among others.
The fundraiser tasked participants with tackling a 5-mile roundtrip hike from Samish Overlook to Oyster Dome, a rocky promontory overlooking Samish Bay. It is one of the most popular trails in the Bellingham area. The event allowed participants to hike at their own pace.
To participate, hikers donated $25 each in exchange for a t-shirt, snack, water, and a raffle ticket. The raffle drawing’s grand prizes included a one-night stay for two at the Fairhaven Village Inn and a pair of Seattle Mariners game tickets. Hikers could raise additional funds by creating a pledge page on the event’s website and gathering donations from friends and family.
Participants were also joined by famed mountaineer and Bellingham resident Dave Mauro, known for summiting the highest peak on each continent. Passionate about the Sherpa population in Nepal, Mauro was happy to join the cause.
“People from all walks of life came together to support the fight against cancer,” Mauro said. “The tireless efforts of these people, and others like them, will one day bare the fruit of success.”
The Binaytara Foundation plans to make its Oyster Dome hike an annual Spring event. It will also hold a second Northwest Cancer Climb in late August, with a trail to be determined.