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Head for the Cure Foundation

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Matt Anthony has an incredibly accomplished career. In fact, at the helm of Kansas-City based VML as CEO from the late-90s until appointing his longtime partner, Jon Cook, as his successor in 2011, Anthony, helped transform the fast-growing advertising firm into a leading global digital marketing agency with operations on five continents. Anthony continues to serve VML as Global Chairman Emeritus.

But when his brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he could never have known that one of his greatest career triumphs would be the creation of an immensely successful nationwide foundation in his brother’s memory.

Matt’s brother, Chris Anthony was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor in October 2000, while living in the Dallas area, and managing VML’s Dallas office. For two years, Chris battled cancer with unimaginable courage. Chris died February 10, 2003.

Chris’s legacy of passion and conviction continues to live on to inspire others through the Head for the Cure Foundation (HFTC). A few years before he established the HFTC Foundation — Chris’s wife Kirsten, along with Matt, the Anthony family, many friends, and tremendous help from the VML team — held the first Head for the Cure 5K was held in Kansas City in 2003. Today, there are now events in 17 cities across the country — and growing every year.

The annual Head for the Cure 5K events are dedicated to the memory of Chris, a wonderful husband, father, son and brother. Chris grew up in the Kansas City area and enjoyed life to the fullest. The greatest joy in Chris’ life was his family: wife, Kirsten and two children, Cole and Caroline. Chris was an avid runner; he had an unmatched competitive spirit and loved the outdoors. Kirsten, Matt and the Anthony family understood that a benefit run would be an appropriate fit for his brother’s fundraising legacy.

Participation in the Head for the Cure Foundation run/walk events is growing on all levels, including paid registrations, sponsorship support and financial donations in support or memory of someone fighting brain cancer.

To date, the Foundation has raised more than $5 million for brain cancer research since the first 5K was organized in 2003 in suburban Kansas City. More than $1.6 million was raised in 2014 with 15 5K events throughout the country. Again this year, the HFTC 5K has grown with 5Ks in 17 cities. Recently added new cities include New York City and Jackson, Mississippi.

In his memory, and for the tens of thousands who battle cancer each year, Matt’s mantra is always: “we continue our ongoing efforts to defeat brain cancer step by step.”

“The Kansas City run/walk is always special to me because this is home and the place where this remarkable Foundation was conceived,” Matt said. “I’m incredibly thankful for the progress the Foundation has made over these past 13 years because we’ve been able to donate millions of dollars to cancer research, and I know our efforts are making an impact towards finding a cure.”

Among scores of accolades and awards, Matt Anthony was awarded the Kansas City International Association of Business Communicators KC/IABC’s highest honor this year: the Arthur Lowell Award. The success of Head for the Cure, and a long and successful career in communication arts, exemplified by outstanding overall individual communication excellence, were determining factors in his selection. HLM


13th Annual Head for
the Cure 5K Run & Walk –
Kansas City

WHEN:  8:00 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 23;
5K run awards at approximately 9:15 a.m.

WHAT:  $35; $40 for late registration, at packet pickup or day of the Run. Discounts apply for family (3 or more) and teams (5 or more).


WHERE:  Corporate Woods

EVENT:  Head for the Cure 5K is a family-oriented activity and a sanctioned run for serious runners. Prizes are awarded to the
top overall male and female finishers, the top Masters (40+) male
and female finishers and to multiple other age groups. Those
who register in advance are guaranteed an official T-shirt.

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Written by: Megan Neher