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      High participation for Hope Starts Here

      Participation for the Upper Michigan Brain and Spine Center's biggest fundraiser is setting record numbers, reaching 365 supporters.

      That's how many people have already signed up for the annual Hope Starts Here Challenge. Pre-registration online closes at noon on Wednesday, but organizers say you can still show up on the day of the event. It all happens this Saturday at the Lakeview Arena.

      Leisure walks, a duathlon, and the addition of a half-marathon are all an effort to raise money for ongoing research at Northern Michigan University. Part of the money raised goes toward patient and family travel expenses.

      "The research has been the important part of our fundraising. Some of our equipment required to do the cellular research is quite expensive, and the students are benefitting immensely from this opportunity," said Laurie Neldberg-Weesen of the Brain and Spine Center at Marquette General Hospital.

      For information on how to sign up, check out the Hope Starts Here website.