Beaufort cancer-research fundraiser culminates with marathon, Rubik's Cube world-record attempt

emoody@beaufortgazette.comOctober 29, 2012 

This Saturday, Shane White is going to attempt to break the world record for solving Rubik's Cubes while running in a marathon to raise money for cancer research in honor of a Parris Island firefighter who died last spring. The current record is 100 cubes solved during a marathon, and White hopes to do 175. The Cubes for the Cure group, in memory of Robert "Banny" Banfield, is on track to raise $15,000.

JAY KARR, STAFF PHOTO

  • To get involved

    Information about the "Cubes for the Cure: Battle for Banny" fundraiser for cancer research is available by:

  • Going online at www.cubesforthecure.org or www.facebook.com/CubesForTheCure.

  • Attending the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on Saturday. It starts at 8 a.m. at Bay and Bull streets and will end at Forsyth Park.

More than six months ago, friends and coworkers promised Robert "Banny" Banfield they would raise money for cancer research and run a marathon in his honor.

Banfield, 54, a Parris Island Fire & Rescue Division firefighter, died in April from neuroendocrine cancer, but firefighters, law enforcement and emergency personnel from across the county remained committed to their promise.

"He'd be pretty shocked (at the success) and joking with us and spurring us along," Banfield's wife, Debbie, said.

On Saturday, at least 31 supporters will continue the "Battle for Banny" by running the half or full marathon in the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

The most attention-grabbing aspect, however, will be Shane White's attempt to get into the Guinness World Records for the most Rubik's Cubes solved while running. The current record holder did 100 in less than five hours. White said he's on track to do 175.

"The goal is to set it high enough that no one wants to break it for a while," he said.

To confirm the results, White and two companion runners will wear cameras that record him solving each cube. White will wear a fanny pack with cubes and swap solved cubes for new ones at each water break. He cheerfully admits his attempt at the record is a gimmick to get attention for the cause -- bring attention to Robert Banfield's life and raise money.

"That's why we're doing what we're doing -- to try and fund the next guy coming up, or the next girl coming up, who might have the idea that can cure this," he said.

It's the fourth and final event the start-up Cubes for the Cure organization has planned. Friends of Robert Banfield created the group and have been working with Beaufort Memorial Foundation.

They've already raised more than $10,000, and president Nate Hildreth believed the final total would be about $15,000.

"The community response has been incredible," he said.

All the money is being donated to Beaufort Memorial Hospital's Keyserling Cancer Center, as Robert Banfield requested.

Banfield had worked as a firefighter in several states since 1989, and he worked at Parris Island from 2004 until dying.

Hildreth said the Cubes for the Cure group intends to do a fundraiser every year to keep the Battle for Banny going.

"The general consensus is this has been a life-changing event for all of us," he said. "I got in shape, learned so much about this cancer and talked to so many people about it."

Related content

  1. Firefighter inspires fight against cancer, July 30, 2012
  2. Beaufort County firefighters 'Battle for Banny' with unusual cancer research fundraiser, July 9, 2012
  3. Robert Banfield, April 26, 2012

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