December 5K to raise money for MEOC’s Mountain Laurel Cancer Center

November 12, 2021

The 2021 Leigh Ann Bolinskey Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be on Dec. 11 in Big Stone Gap.

Hosted by Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., the event raises money for the agency’s Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. Bolinskey was director of the center from 2004 until 2014, when she died of leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer.

This year’s 5K will be a night race, starting at Big Stone Gap Visitor Center and following the Greenbelt Trail. Registration will open at 5 p.m. The race will begin at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event will directly support cancer patients in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton.

“We are excited for the return of MEOC’s Leigh Ann Bolinskey Memorial 5K following the cancellation of last year’s event because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mountain Laurel Center Coordinator Dianne Morris. “This will be the first time the event has been held at night, and we are hoping for a great turnout. Every cent raised will provide direct help with unexpected cancer-related needs of cancer patients throughout the local community. No money raised will ever be spent on administrative costs whatsoever,” she added.

The Mountain Laurel Center has been offering support, advocacy and assistance to people with cancer of all ages for nearly two decades, continued Morris. The center provides liquid nutritional supplements and financial aid for travel for diagnosis, treatment and surgery, and other unforeseen cancer-related expenses. These services are available because of community support and monetary donations from a variety of sources. 


Entry fees:

• $25 for pre-registered runners. The pre-registration deadline is Dec. 3. Only pre-registered runners are guaranteed a T-shirt.

• $30 for race-day registration

• $15 for youth ages 13-18

• Free for children 12 and younger

Prizes: First, second and third place prizes will be awarded for males and females in eight age groups: 13 and younger; 14-16; 17-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-65; and 65 and older.

To enter: Entry forms may be obtained by contacting Dianne Morris at 276/523-4202 or

Can’t participate but still want to help? Tax-deductible donations are welcome at any time. Please make checks payable to MEOC-MLCC and mail them to PO Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Online donations may be made at