NEWPORT, Maine — The Nokomis Regional High School Warriors showed their support for one of their own Friday morning.
Students, faculty, and staff were joined by other community members at the school's track for a Warrior Walk fundraiser to benefit Nokomis athletic director Mark Babin, who is was diagnosed with cancer.
"He's battling lymphoma," Mary Nadeau, principal of Nokomis Regional High School, said. "He's fought it tough through one round and has had to go through a second round."
Babin is undergoing chemotherapy treatments at a hospital in Boston. The money raised will go toward covering his medical expenses.
Babin's children and grandchildren were at the walk Friday. Zach Babin, Mark's son, said he didn't really have words for what this effort means to his family.
"I wasn't expecting this many people, that's for sure," Zach said.
Nadeau said more than 25 teams registered for the event, each competing to raise the most money. Athletic directors from other local high schools also came to show their support.
"We've got local businesses [and the] Newport Fire Department is coming," Nadeau said. "Corinna Fire Department is coming [and] our elementary schools and middle schools have done fundraisers."
"It's probably going to be a little bit of a surreal feeling knowing that he touched that many peoples' hearts and that many people care about him," Hunter Flagg, a senior at Nokomis, said.
Flagg said Babin is an important member of their community.
"He's really like one of the best people we could've had as the athletic director," Flagg said.
"He was always willing to go above and beyond for whatever you needed, even if it was just to talk about what's going, he was always there," Megan Watson, a junior at Nokomis, said.
Because of that love for Babin, Nadeau said they wanted a financial and visual representation of their support.
"I think sometimes you get that separation and you sort of wonder, you know, 'Have people forgotten about me?' and, 'Do they care about me?' And we wanted to clarify any doubt he might have that we love Mark, and we are there for him," Nadeau said.
"It's great to see how many lives he's touched," Zach said.
Zach said he and his family can't thank everyone enough for their support through this difficult time.
"It's been an uphill battle, but with this kind of support there's not much he can't accomplish," Zach said.