Ron Ganger, middle, celebrated his 80th birthday by taking part in Steve’s Run along with his family. (Daily News Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Ganger celebretes birthday at Steve’s Run

Published 3:59pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ron Ganger celebrated his 80th birthday much in the same way he has celebrated his birthday for many years.

He participated in Steve’s Run.

This year, Ganger took part in the annual event along with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Known as the “Ganger Gang,” the group, all wearing yellow shirts, ran or walked in the race as they have done over the past several years.

As many as 23 members of the Ganger family have participated in the event.

This year, some of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren met Ron on the hill for the final descent to the finish line. Ron beat his record from years past.

Not only was this year’s race special for Ron because he turned 80, but he and other family members were honoring his wife, Pat, who is recent cancer survivor. Ron also lost his father to cancer and several family members have survived the disease.

The original road and trail race was renamed “Steve’s Run” in memory of Steven Briegel, a Southwestern Michigan College honors graduate who lost his fight again cancer in 1990. All funds raised, including 100 percent of the pledge monies, are donated to SMC’s Steven Briegel Scholarship and the May Clinic Cancer Research Fund.

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