Boot Cancer Reflection

Sunday, October 2, was a memorable day for many of us. Even though it was one of the coldest days on record for the month of October, inside Collins-Perley Sports Complex was on fire! Over 50 gritty competitors cheered, challenged, grunted, groaned, pushed, pulled, lifted and laugh to help Boot Cancer. Held in St. Albans, the event raised almost $7,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Over three years, the Challenge has collected close to $18,000.

The Boot Cancer event is achieving its goal of creating a state-wide fitness community collectively working together and supporting each other to fight the battle against Cancer and to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. “The ultimate vision is to stretch-out across North America,” said Boot Cancer founder, Lisa Durocher.

Tammy Lutz, a long-time Relay organizer, said, “The determination of the participants mirrors that of a cancer patient.” The competitors ranged in ages from 5 – 69. Franklin, Washington, Caledonia, and Chittenden counties were represented. The event’s intent is to encourage fitness groups to bring a team of competitors; that was realized by the Fitness Zone in St. Albans, Atlas Training Systems in St. Johnsbury, Champlain Valley Crossfit in Williston, Green Mountain Crossfit in Montpelier, and Boot Camp with L.S.D. in Fairfax. Additionally, we had representation from the Army Rangers, Marines, National Guard and the Coast Guard. We need to spread the Challenge to other fitness organizations, Vermont counties, surrounding states and Quebec.

This year’s event showcased three categories: individual, partners and youth obstacle courses. The top individual performers were: Aaron Fondry, Men Ages 18-29; Buddy Chapman, Men Ages 30-49; Alan Carter, Men Ages 50+; Courtney Shegos, Women Ages 18-29; Lynn Lena, Women Ages 30-49; Lea Fairbanks, Women Ages 50+. The top partners were Bonnie Aliosi and Adam Parent. For youth, A. Rooney won the 5-8 age-group category and Z. Fucci captured the top spot in the 9-11 age-group. All of the results can be found here:


Events like this can only happen with sponsor and volunteer support:

Concept2. Greg Hammond jumped right on board with this event from day one. They donate a C2 rower each year to use as a raffle. This event is a great way to expose the public to the advantages of rowing. C2 rowers are heavily used in the Crossfit world and as a result are becoming a common piece of equipment in training programs.

The Confluence, Green Mountain Crossfit. Nick and the gang in Montpelier was another company who partnered from the beginning. In Washington county, Nick is known for his community spirit and we’re glad that he wants to include the Boot Cancer event as a part of his community involvement. Each year he organizes the first workout, provides equipment and judges. The oldest competitor, 69 year-old Audry Mays, trains at his facility. I was also thankful for Celeste, who volunteered as a judge. She’s a great motivator, an even stronger competitor.

FairPoint Communications. Rene DeLaricheliere is responsible for building the relationship by immediately expressing  an interest in sponsoring this event based on their Community First focus. Part of their community philosophy is to invest in the health and wellness of employees, their families and customers. They support programs from cancer and heart research to healthy eating and wellness walks.

Boot Camp with L.S.D. A strength and conditioning program in Fairfax that’s dedicated to hard play and fun work. Part of L.S.D.’s mission is to promote healthy living for our youth, therefore, anyone under 18 can jump in for FREE.

Exposed with Mark Photograhy. Mark is long-time supporter of the Relay for Life. We first met at this year’s Franklin County Relay where we held a Mini Camp. He asked if he could be a sponsor at the Boot Cancer event. Mark even brought in his colleagues to help capture the moments.

Dana Clark, Accountant. Dana is the backbone of the event. Accounting, score keeping and database management are the core activities for a successful fundraising event. Additionally, Dana calls for sponsorships. As this event grows in popularity, our core team will need more operations support. I wish that I had 20 Danas.

Anne Maloney, Donor Requestor and Judge. Anne has been with the event since day one. Every year, she calls local businesses to stir-up prizes. She fearlessly volunteers as a judge every year.

Adam Parent, Judge & Equipment Coordinator. Adam’s energy is devoted to ensuring there’s enough judges and equipment for the event. He even jumps in as a competitor. It was his idea to schedule a Minni Camp during the Franklin County Relay for Life; this was a great idea because it fused the Boot Cancer event with Relay and created more awareness . . . as a result, Trudy Cioffi, a Relay Organizer, decided to Boot Cancer this year.

Brian Fredette, DJ. Brian is a long-time volunteer for the Relay for Life. He organizes the Nordic Relay (the only one in the U.S.). His heart is as big as his music collection. For more information on the Nordic Relay visit:

Chris Mooney, Announcer. Chris volunteered his entire day to announcing the event. We hope to have him again next year.

Adam Stone, Videographer. A senior film student at Champlain College, Adam agreed to film, edit and produce the Boot Cancer video. Can’t wait to see the final product!

Paula Coli, Beverage Organizer & Judge. A long-time boot camper, Paula quickly put together the coffee and hot chocolate idea, which raised $55.00. This was her second year at the event, where she served as a judge again.

Amanda Cowan, Youth Organizer. This was the first year that the youth category was added. I immediately knew who to ask and Amanda accepted the challenge and did an outstanding job at creating a fun, competitive, healthy event. This is surely an area for growth.

Wellness Massage Center & Institute. For the second year, Dawn and her students donated their time to apply their skills on athletes of all ages. A massage was the best part of the Challenge. The Wellness Massage Center began in St. Albans 20 years ago with one therapist and the idea that bodywork is a valuable tool for wellness. The business has evolved to include 8 practicing therapists, a 500 – hour massage school, and a wellness facility where clients have access to chiropractic care, psychotherapy and elemental stone therapy.

Max Rooney, Army Ranger, Judge & Skeds Supplier. Max has been a strong supporter each year. I was so thrilled to hear about the “skeds” (those sleds with wood pellets that you all loved). Him and his coworker, Nate, were great judges and were ready to help on a moment’s notice. They even jumped in for the first workout. Perhaps we can get them to compete next year.

U.S. Marines. Wow! They did a superb job at keeping the kids busy and challenged. The kids won stickers, hats, water bottles and shirts. They were put through drills of air squats, pull-ups, sprints and more, they were all extremely sore at school the next few days.

Collins-Perley Sports & Fitness Complex. Tim Viens and the Board embraced the event when it was originally proposed. The Complex is a facility with perfect accommodations for this style of event. The new track, fields, and indoor facility allows us to mobilize inside our outside depending on the weather.

A giant thank you to the other judges who took an entire day to support the athletes! We greatly appreciate the several businesses and schools who supplied equipment for the adult and youth events.

Everyone loved the feel and style of the shirts this year. A large group of businesses and people are responsible for the shirts and they need to be thanked for their generous support!

List of Shirt Sponsors—Thank you!

Classic Imprints

Cross Town Motors;

Lake Road Storage;
Leader Evaporator Company;
Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel;
Liberty’s Fuel Oil, LLC
Twighlight Construction
Moe’s Southwest Grill;
New Balance Williston;
People’s United Bank;
Poulos Insurance, Inc.;
Sweet Clover Market;
WireNuts Contracting


The Boot Cancer Challenge is a series of events with the culminating Challenge taking place in October. There’s the possibility of another event in the works . . . Boot Cancer Combine, a football-like challenge for high school athletes from all sport disciplines.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year. Thanks for believing  . . .


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