LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- This weekend marks the 5th annual Dempsey Challenge, the non-competitive run, walk and cycling fundraiser for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston.
Actor and event founder Patrick Dempsey wasn't able to make the kick off news conference Friday morning. He was delayed by the celebration for the 200th episode of his TV show, Grey's Anatomy.
He does plan to take part in the event both Saturday and Sunday.
There are about 500 fewer participants this year, but the 3706 people taking part have raised more than $1 million dollars so far, a total on par with last year.
Patrick Dempsey's sister, Mary, who is the Assistant Director of the Dempsey Center, said she talked with her brother about an hour before the 11 a.m. news conference. "Patrick is so excited. He was getting on the plane. He wanted to let me know that he was all set, and he was coming and he couldn't wait to be here, and he looks forward to all these pieces."
Over the past 5 years, the Dempsey Challenge has raised more than $5 million for the Dempsey Center.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 7 a.m. Saturday at Lewiston's Simard-Payne Memorial Park. You can find details by clicking here.