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Gwen McGill: Voice of the Race
Gwen McGill: Voice of the Race
As a Face of the Race for 14 years, it’s actually Gwenn McGill’s voice that most Race participants recognize. She is the announcer for the Susan G. Komen® Triangle Race for the Cure, a position she’s held since 2000.
As Race announcer, Gwenn relays event information to the participants. She communicates Race logistics, course conditions, information on the Affiliate’s grants and programs, and introduces the survivors by name as they cross the finish line, which she describes as one of her favorite “duties”.
Gwenn lives in Portland, Oregon, where she owns an event production and management company. She was recruited to be the Triangle Race announcer by Komen NC Triangle to the Coast Race committee members, Rhonda Mickelson and Deb Bialeschki who heard her at the 1999 Denver Race for the Cure.
Gwenn comes back to Raleigh each year and volunteers her time because of the support and breast cancer awareness the Race brings to our area.
“I’m gifted with the opportunity to act on behalf of this local Affiliate as one of the voices that brings information to the participants” says Gwenn. “While on stage announcing, I’ve had the honor of recognizing various national and local leaders in the fight against breast cancer, such as the National Founder Nancy Brinker and local presenting sponsor Duke Cancer Institute Researcher Kim Blackwell.”
Triangle Race Founder Jeanne Peck is a significant reason for Gwenn’s involvement. Gwenn recalls meeting Jeanne, hearing her story and wanting to contribute to the Race.
“Jeanne was one individual making a huge difference. She was a breast cancer survivor and decided her community needed to have more information on the disease,” recalls Gwenn. “After meeting Jeanne, she showed me that one person with enough determination and support can make a significant change in her community.”
Gwenn says Jeanne’s group of friends who still participate in the Race today serve as a tribute to her leadership–18 years after she brought the Race to the Triangle.
When asked why people of the Triangle should contribute to this Affiliate, Gwenn responded, “My question is why they wouldn’t want to contribute to the Affiliate? Race proceeds support a multitude of programs that directly affect the lives of people living in North Carolina. I keep flying across the nation each year to serve as the Triangle Race announcer because of the impression the Triangle Affiliate makes in this community,” says Gwenn.
She continued, “Seventy-five percent of the net funds support local breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs, while the other 25 percent funds research at places like the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke University.
“By funding the Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate, we are funding support for our loved ones and perhaps ourselves,” Gwenn says. “I honestly can’t think of a better reason, can you?”