HCW History

Heaven Can Wait has become a Central Oregon tradition, drawing thousands every year to raise breast cancer awareness.
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Heaven Can Wait began in 2000 after Charlene Levesque — wife of Central Oregon Running Klub (CORK) president, Joe Levesque — was diagnosed with breast cancer. Charlene's diagnosis prompted CORK to begin formulating the idea of an event that would promote early detection of cancer and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.

Held every year on National Cancer Survivor's Day (first Sunday in June), Heaven Can Wait has grown into Central Oregon's premiere athletic event and an annual celebration of cancer survivorship.

The event pivoted for one year in 2020, as the community raised funds for St. Charles frontline caregivers during an unprecedented year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants ran or walked in their own neighborhoods, around Central Oregon, and in 14 different states and then shared their photos and stories on social media. We were able to provide support to frontline caregivers, and Sara’s Project continued to provide breast cancer support and education throughout the year.

To keep our community safe, Heaven Can Wait 2021 will be presented as a virtual event June 6 through 13, and will once again raise funds for Sara’s Project.  

Annual participation and sponsorship

Over the past 20 years, more than $1.5 million has been raised to benefit Sara's Project.

Event Year # of Participants Net to Sara's Project
2019 2,400 $84,000
2018 2,568 $92,970
2017 2,693 $99,277
2016 3,130 $95,797
2015 2,990 $90,858
2014 3,463 $90,719
2013 3,946 $116,781
2012 3,795 $76,620
2011 4,028 $102,501
2010 4,129 $112,769
2009 3,559 $92,817
2008 3,493 $114,058
2007 2,687 $81,270
2006 2,374 $75,542
2005 2,138 $64,540
2004 1,975 $60,546
2003 1,691 $52,451
2002 1,702 $43,051
2001 1,208 $29,492
2000 1,026 $23,605
TOTALS 54,995 $1,599,664