By Frank Lewis
September 29, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The fog hovered over the long line of participants with a promise of sunshine while light jackets or warmups were the uniform of the day as hundreds stepped off Saturday morning at the Portsmouth Trojans Coliseum for the Third Annual Courtney Clifford Scholarship 5K Walk.
The Walk is a major fundraiser held to honor Courtney, raise Ovarian Cancer Awareness and fund the Courtney Clifford Outstanding Achievement Scholarship Fund.
Courtney’s father, former Portsmouth High School football coach Curt Clifford acknowledged that the crowd gets larger every year.
“I think a lot of it has to do with awareness now,” Curt Clifford said. “For a long time it was all about other types of cancers. And now people are now realizing that actually this is a silent killer.”
Curt Clifford gave credit to the committee assembled by his wife, Mary Clifford, and Susie Riddlebarger for getting the word out to the public as to the importance of the event.
Courtney was a Thyroid Cancer survivor and a five-year survivor of Ovarian Cancer. She was an outstanding individual who excelled academically and athletically. Courtney was a role model to all who knew her. Tragically, she passed away from Ovarian Cancer on Feb. 11, 2011, at the age of 28. The scholarship was created in her name to reward an individual who paralleled Courtney’s achievements and character and to carry on Courtney’s legacy.
“Courtney was a very popular figure in town,” Curt Clifford said. “I think people are coming because of that.”
Courtney’s journey in the cancer world showed her intense fight and drive to never give up hope. She has touched many lives with her courage and strength.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.