May 10, 2019

Heaven Can Wait 5K celebrates 20 years of life in Central Oregon
Annual race aims to raise $100,000 this year for cancer awareness and support

BEND, Ore. — Heaven Can Wait, a 5K walk/run that brings the Central Oregon community together in a celebration of life, will be held Sunday, June 2, at 9 a.m. in Drake Park.
The event celebrates 20 years this summer and has become one of the area’s largest outdoor athletic events, raising approximately $100,000 annually for St. Charles Cancer Center. Funds raised support Sara’s Project, which provides education, early detection and support services to ease the challenges of breast cancer for people in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Charlene Levesque, a Bend resident, breast cancer survivor and runner, founded the event and recalled hearing the name “Heaven Can Wait” at a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in which she participated shortly after her diagnosis in 1999.

“It was the name of a winning team and it really struck a deep chord with me,” she said. “I thought, ‘Yes! I have a lot more living to do. Heaven can wait.’ So many of our race’s runners have since told me they feel the same way.”

Hosted by St. Charles Foundation and a dedicated team of volunteers, Heaven Can Wait is held at Drake Park the first Sunday in June, which is National Cancer Survivor’s Day.

“Funds raised at this event provide vital support services to people in our community who are battling breast cancer,” said St. Charles Community Engagement Officer Kelly Michel. “Heaven Can Wait 5K has become a way for the community to honor and remember those affected by cancer.”

To participate or volunteer in the 5K walk/run, register at For questions related to the event, contact Michelle Solley at 541-706-2693 or

About St. Charles Foundation
As the philanthropic arm of St. Charles Health System, the Foundation works to support and improve health care in Central and Eastern Oregon. Private donations raised by the Foundation allow St. Charles to build new medical facilities, purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, keep pace with the latest technological advances and deliver exceptional patient care in a healing environment. The Foundation does more than just raise money for bricks and mortar. The organization also raises money to support many programs that benefit low-income and uninsured patients.


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