Team Toni organizers pushing for 500 in 5K

Published 12:43 am Sunday, June 1, 2014

Race to benefit local charities June 14 at Pullman Square


A little more than two years ago the entire Tri-State was swept up in a young Lawrence County woman’s battle with cancer.

Rallying behind Toni Black, Chesapeake High School graduate and her family, the community responded with the slogan “Team Toni” that could be found everywhere from T-shirts to twitter displaying unity in her fight. Since Toni passed away in 2012 her family has kept her memory alive by starting a non-profit organization called Team Toni. One of the organization’s biggest fundraisers is the annual Team Toni 5K.

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“We rely on the support of our followers and community,” Holly Black, director of the Team Toni 5K, said. “The 5K is the largest fundraiser that we host. We will also be making a donation to other local charities with the proceeds from this race, such as Heroes4Hire and the For A Day Foundation.”

This year’s race will also feature many local celebrities, some who are willing to set their masculinity aside for a greater cause.

“We have many local male celebrities who have agreed to wear pink Toni tutus on race day,” Black said. “But, they’ll only do that if we reach 500 people registered for the event.”

Some of those celebrities include local politicians Freddie Hayes Jr. and Mike Patterson, as well as radio personality Dave Roberts from WKEE FM and Batman himself. Currently, 300 people have signed up for the race held at Pullman Square in Huntington, W.Va.

Early pickup for race packets will be on June 13 in the Tumble World parking lot in Chesapeake. The race will begin the next day at 8 a.m. The cost of the race is $25 and anyone interested in running can sign up online at

“Our ability to extend a helping hand is only possible because of the wonderful outpouring of support from the Tri-State community,” Black said. “Toni passed away a little over two years ago and it was our promise to her to help others with cancer in her honor.”