This year's Darien Road Race will benefit The Community Fund of Darien, the Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital and The Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.

The race will take place at Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 1 p.m.

The Community Fund of Darien is a local, volunteer driven not-for-profit organization that addresses health and human services needs in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford by offering assessment, advice, consultation and funding. After a thorough allocation review process involving more than 50 town volunteers, more than $687,500 will be distributed in grants to agencies in 2011-2012. Another $75,000 will support the community through special grants, the Touch a Life Fund, the Youth Community Fund and community initiatives.

"The Community Fund of Darien is grateful to the Darien Road Race for its generous support," said Kiki Karpen, executive director. "This event truly represents what the Community Fund is all about -- bringing people together to improve lives. It's a celebration of community spirit in our wonderful town."

The center receives a great deal of philanthropic support from the community throughout the year. "Many of the supportive programs and services offered at no charge to our patients are made possible through generous donations to the Center," said Elizabeth Manfredo, director of cancer services at Stamford Hospital.

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The Whittingham Cancer Center in Norwalk offers a full spectrum of services from cancer prevention and screenings to diagnosis and treatment. The center also offers numerous clinical research protocols that enable patients to participate in emerging therapies.

"The proceeds from the Darien Road Race will play a critical role in helping us achieve this level of success for extraordinary patient care," said Suzanne R. Schintzius, CPA, annual giving manager.

The Darien Road Race is an annual opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of exercise and fun while supporting local social services and cancer treatment organizations.

The race includes two wheel-measured events, a 10-kilometer race (6.2 miles) and a 1.5-mile fun-run called The Loop. Both events, which begin at 1 p.m., start and finish at Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien. Several race sponsors and other local organizations will set up a gallery of booths where everyone, especially kids, can enjoy games and win prizes while they wait to hear the race results.

The Darien Road Race has raised more than $850,000 in its three decades of history. Long-standing friends of the Darien Road Race have also committed to significant donations of products and services. The Darien Boat Club will provide a tent and use of its beachfront property while the Darien Lions Club will be selling refreshments and food. As a grand prize for the top individual fundraiser, BMW of Darien is contributing a 24-speed, lightweight aluminum BMW bicycle.

For more information or to register for the Darien Road Race, contact The Community Fund, 203-655-8775; lisa@communityfunddarien.org; or visit www.active.com or the race website at www.darienroadrace.org.