Barbara Montgomery’s legacy lives on as Dewey Goes Pink
The Starboard restaurant in Dewey Beach will hold one of the most exciting races of the fall circuit at noon, Saturday, Oct. 4 - the 4th Annual Dewey Goes Pink 5K - but there’s a lot more to the story than running, eating and drinking. Instead it’s a celebration created by two local businessmen, Steve Montgomery and Adam Howard, who wanted to find a fitting way to raise money and awareness for breast cancer while honoring their mothers, both of whom fought the deadly disease.
Four years ago Barbara Montgomery, Steve’s mom, passed away from the effects of breast cancer. She had been diagnosed with the disease 25 years earlier when Steve was 18, but through advancements in medical technology and a miracle from above she lived a long life with her family and ran fundraisers for cancer research at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. During this time, her son Steve “Monty” Montgomery, co-owner of The Starboard restaurant and Bethany Blues, would constantly prod her, saying, “Mom, it’s time to let me take over the fundraising.” Eventually she agreed to pass the torch to him, but asked that all funds raised stay local in Sussex County.
As coincidence would have it, during the time Steve lost his mother, he was working out with Adam Howard, owner of the Body Shop Gym in Rehoboth, and they both learned Adam’s mom Paula had been diagnosed with the same disease. After several surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Adam’s mom recovered, but it was a combination of both men’s experiences with family members and breast cancer that inspired the creation of the Dewey Goes Pink 5K.
“I remember at Mom’s funeral, people kept saying they wished she could have made it one more day, and that’s when my dad pointed out that we were lucky,” said Steve. “We had the miracle of 25 years with Mom because of advances in medical technology; breast cancer treatment has come a long way. It is my goal to raise awareness for this disease and pass on good fortune to someone else so they may have the same miracle we had.” Adam’s mom has recovered and has made it to every Dewey Goes Pink since the event started. She is very proud of this event and brings her two sisters, both of whom are also breast cancer survivors. For them, this race has become a family event. “Of all the things I get to do, this is the one thing that I’m most proud of, and it is an awesome feeling to help others, especially considering my family history,” said Adam.
It just so happens there’s a lot to be proud of, considering that over the last three years, Dewey Goes Pink has been very successful, raising nearly $80,000 to date for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, and 100 percent of all funds are kept local in Sussex County. This year, Dewey Goes Pink will feature a 5K race and 1.5-mile walk. There will also be a pig roast, acoustic music by Rick Arzt of Love Seed Mama Jump, signature drinks and lots of fun to be had by all. If you want to participate, don’t delay, as the race will be limited to 2,000 participants and is expected to sell out. If you have trouble finding the place, simply look for the 35-foot-tall pink ribbon in the parking lot of The Starboard in Dewey Beach and you’ll know you found your mark. To learn more about Dewey Goes Pink, go to www.DeweyGoesPink.com and sign up for the race or send your donation to a worthy cause by following the instructions on the site.
I think Steve put it best when he said, “Why not make fundraising fun? Let’s have a party, run a race and enjoy the food, music and drinks.” I’ll be there, and I hope anyone reading this column who wants to show their support for the fight against breast cancer will be there too.