By Megan Davis
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The 18th Annual Legacy Chase event hosted by The Greater Baltimore Medical Center took place Saturday at Shawan Downs and attracted around 5,000 to 7,000 people, according to GBMC.
The event was held as a fundraiser for the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at GBMC and featured last year’s theme of “Hats, Horses, Hope.” Horse races, games for kids, as well as a Cancer Survivor Celebration Tent were the main attractions.
At the Cancer Survivor Celebration Tent, survivors decorated large hats to be placed on the Archway of Hope. The Archway of Hope, located at the entrance of the survivor’s tent, featured completely decorated hats, each of which had their own special meaning.
“The ribbons on the hats have messages of encouragement – a mostly for those on their journey to recovery,” said John Lazaru, GBMC’s media relations representative. “.”
Beside the Cancer Survivor Celebration Tent were smaller tents that lined the fence of the horse race track, each for the businesses that helped make the event possible. In front of two of the tents was Patricia Bennett, a local artist who painted the scenery around her.
“I’ve been painting since I was 12-years old,” Bennett said. “I’ve never been here before.”
The horse races attracted the most attention, with attendees bringing lawn chairs and picnic blankets beside the race tracks to watch. There was a total of seven races, each with their own special requirements, yet all featuring horses that were trained for speed and precision.
Precautions were still made as Outsiders were placed around the track.
“If a horse gets loose or someone falls off, we make sure we can catch them if we can,” said Fred Cobero, an Outsider who was positioned near the finish line. “We make sure the horses don’t run away, and if they do we bring the horse back.”
Cobero and Mary Ann Steele, another Outsider, rode atop their own horses, Lead’s Creek and Face Up. Their uniforms featured dark, black jackets and long boots as well as dark jockey hats to protect themselves if something were to go wrong.
“It makes you look cool,” Steele said. “Though it is a little warm.”
Back at the Cancer Survivor Celebration Tent, volunteers also had time to enjoy the races.
“I’ve been here twice,” said Marge Picchocki, a volunteer at the event. “The first time visiting and now to volunteer.”
Picchocki came to the event with her friends Joan Lewis, Betty Foell and Joanne Johnson. Her friends were here for the first time and were glad they came.
“This is great,” Foell said when asked about how she was enjoying the event. Joan Lewis agreed.
“[The event] is a good way to bring people together,” Lewis said. “It brings everything to light.”
“It’s very well organized,” Johnson said.
At the end of the event, the Archway of Hope was filled with hats made by cancer survivors and volunteers and featured inspiring messages for those who crossed underneath.