Knights-Kaderli plans 25th anniversary walk/run on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Fund provides about $50K annually to families fighting cancer

Provided photo – Walkers and runners join in last year’s Knights-Kaderli walk and run. About 500 people are expected for the 25th anniversary event on Saturday, beginning at the East Shelby Fire Hall at 11 a.m. Registration starts at 9:30.

MEDINA – Two families that lost loved ones to cancer have been working together for 25 years, raising money for Orleans County residents and their families fighting the disease.

The Knights and Kaderli families on Saturday will have their 25th anniversary run/walk, beginning at the East Shelby Fire Hall. The course covers about 3.5 miles. Organizers say 500 could be attend the event, which would be a record.

“It’s turned into a huge party, said Melissa Knights Bertrand.

Her father, Richard Knights, died from cancer in 1984. Five years later Sue Scharping Kaderli died from the disease.

The walk-run has raised about $200,000 since 1994, with the annual walk/run raising more money as participation has grown. It netted about $20,000 last year. A golf tournament in memory of David Millis of Albion also nets about $15,000, while a wine-tasting organized by the Zinkievich family in November raises $10,000. Other fund-raisers, including a Pink Crystal Ball, help push the fund to about $50,000 total a year.

That money helps about 50 families a year pay for out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, transportation and other bills. Bertrand  and Mary Kaderli Zelazny take requests for aid. A recipient must be undergoing a cancer treatment and must be an Orleans County resident.

“We’re a very unique fund,” Bertrand said. “You can have a check within a couple of weeks. We work really hard to get money to people because we know they are in a desperate need.”

The Knights and Kaderli families share the workload in planning events and managing the fund. Both families are well-known in the Medina area. They have worked to be inclusive, welcoming others in the community to help raise funding for families suffering a physical, emotional and financial toll from cancer.

“We’re there at a difficult time in people’s lives,” Bertrand said. “They let us in and we keep it all confidential. We give to the patients as a gift, expecting nothing in return.”

The Knights and Kaderli families expect to be committed to the fund for many years to come. The grandchildren of Richard Knights and Sue Scharping Kaderli have joined the effort.

For more information’s about the fund or Saturday’s walk/run, check the organization’s web site by clicking here.