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Survivors, supporters gather for 20th annual Heart and Sole

Friends and family walk behind the vehicle carrying 11-month-old Paisley King Friday night during the 20th annual Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and Run. King was diagnosed with liver cancer in January, and served as a n honorary co-chair during the event. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)1 / 2
Luminaries, bearing names of people who have or had cancer, are lined up along the path during the 20th annual Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and Run Friday night at the Mitchell Middle School. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)2 / 2

Everyone was a superhero Friday night.

Cancer survivors, alongside their family and friends, gathered Friday at the Mitchell Middle School for the 20th annual Heart and Sole Cancer Walk and Run.

Donning capes, masks and anything related to a superhero, survivors and their supporters walked for hours in front of the Mitchell Middle School as luminaries — bearing names of people who have or had cancer — lit the way.

"It's sad, but it's also a celebration," said Jonathan Guenthner, treasurer for Heart and Sole, which featured a superhero theme.

A total of 71 teams gathered for the annual event, and Guenthner estimated more than 1,500 people attended this year. This year's honorary co-chairs included Teresa Gebel, Jan Nebelsick and Paisley King.

The festivities began at 6:30 p.m. and lasted until dark. Guenthner said each year the committee gives out $60,000 to $70,000 in donations to area people facing cancer. And one reason people continue to come to Heart and Sole each year is because all the funds remains local, staying within a 50 mile radius of Mitchell.

Guenthner has been a part of the Heart and Sole committee for five years, but has been coming to the event for 12. And each year, he sees emotions ranging from tears to laughter.

"It's important," he said. "Everybody knows somebody who is affected by cancer."

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