Bill Walter Donate

History of Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund

Bill, Kathy, Austin, and Katherine moved to Daytona Beach, Florida in March of 1998. The company Bill was working for closed the Loveland, Colorado office and transferred him to the office in Daytona Beach, Bill's hometown. Even though he was battling melanoma, following lung surgery and brain surgery, he would go into the office the days he was not ill from treatments; or traveling to and from treatments and trials. His friends from high school rallied around Bill. When he was able, they would get together. 

As the months progressed, so did Bill's melanoma. In June of 1998, Tim Richardson felt helpless over the fact that his best friend from high school was slipping away and there was nothing that anyone or any medicine could do about it. On one of Tim's visits with Bill in Daytona, he went to the beach to think and pray. As Tim was walking on the beach, he noticed runners participating in a race. Then, at that moment, Tim understood what he had to do. He decided he would gather other high school friends and have a walk/run in Bill's name to help raise money to combat this terrible disease. 

Unbelievably, on August 15, 1998 the 1st Annual Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund 5K walk/run took place on the beach at Ormond Beach. Bill was there. He was weak, but he was there. The Volusia County Beach Services provided him with a beach wheelchair. He was amazed at the number of participants. 100 runners came out to support the cause. After the race, Tim asked Bill where he would like the money to go if "this thing really takes off." Bill's response was that he would like to help other melanoma patients financially with their travel expenses to and from trials and treatments, and he would like to help in finding a cure for melanoma. 

"This thing" has REALLY taken off. The Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund 5K walk/run now has a name, RayZ Awareness. At our last event, there were nearly 500 runners and walkers. Many years, RayZ Awareness and skin care protection events are held in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Kathy Walter still works diligently. Since the first race in 1998, we have raised well over $100,000.00 which is helping melanoma patients and promoting and funding melanoma research.  

We are a non-profit organization and there are no paid employees. Each and every person who works on our race and those on our Board of Directors gives freely of their time. Each and every dollar that comes to the Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund goes directly to research, to educating about melanoma, or to assist melanoma patients. We have donated over $20,000.00 to melanoma patients and we have invested over $50,000.00 in research toward finding a cure. For the last two years BWIIIMRF has partnered with the national Melanoma Research Foundation in bringing together, for the first time, basic scientists who are doing research in melanoma. Because of these symposia, there will be The First Melanoma Research Congress held in Philadelphia in June 2003.

The board members of the Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund are as follows: 

Tim Richardson, MS President (friend since junior high school) 
Bill Walter, Sr., PhD Vice President (Bill's Dad) 
Roger Scott, DDS Treasurer (friend since high school) 
Doug Denison, DDS Secretary (friend since 1st grade) 
Sheila Harlacher Event Coordinator (friend since 1st grade)

Advisors to the Board: 
John Walsh, M.D. Dermatologist 
John Long, M.D. Dermatologist 
Jeff Parks, M.D. Dermatologist 
Jeffrey Heller, DO Dermatologist 
Kathy Walter (Bill's widow) 
Donna Hiatt of Daytona Beach is our RayZ Awareness Race Director.

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Last updated: 05/07/14