Bay Village Resident on a Mission to Save Lives with Run for Jess/girlpARTs Fest

Greg and Jess Gogul

Greg and Jess Gogul

Bay Village resident was married only 10 months to his 28 year old wife when they discovered she had stage 3 ovarian cancer. The next few months were filled with doctor appointments, chemotherapy and many hospital visits. After a seven-month struggle, Jess Boskocevic Gogul died.

Within weeks of her death Gogul decided to do something in her honor and September 17th’s inaugural Run for Jess/girlpARTs fest in Cahoon Memorial Park in Bay Village is it. “Neither my wife nor myself knew anything about this silent killer. The idea behind this run and arts festival is to create awareness of the disease which has subtle symptoms that many women need to know about. If I can save one life from ovarian cancer it will all be worth it.”

The 5K Run for Jess begins at 11 am at Cahoon Memorial Park West followed by a girlpARTs fest from noon to 7 pm. Race registration is $20 and girlpARTs fest tickets are available online. girlpARTs tickets with race entry receive a $5.00 discount.

The day-long event uses arts to raise awareness of gynecologic cancers and features three bands, visual artists, food trucks, children’s activities and more. The festival is suitable for all ages; general admission is $20 ($25 at the door). Tickets for children ages 5 to 12 are $10 and children under 5 admitted free. VIP tickets are $50 and include a VIP pass to mingle with the bands, private catering and the best seat in the house!

Local bands performing include The Ice Cream Truckers, Carlos Jones and the Plus Band, Natural Wonder (Stevie Wonder tribute band) and a possible appearance by Caly Bevier—a teen ovarian cancer survivor who is a finalist in America’s Got Talent competition.

Various food trucks will be on hand as well as local artists showcasing and selling their unique creations. Jennifer Coken, a native of Cleveland Heights will host a book signing for her recently released book about her mother’s battle with ovarian cancer, “When I die, take my panties.” There will also be a survivor recognition ceremony for all cancer survivors.

Gogul and his sister-in-law, Melissa Boskocevic connected with the NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative which was founded by a Youngstown, Ohio native to present the event. NormaLeah focuses on educating all women and the men who love them about ovarian cancer. Each year 22,000 women are diagnosed with the disease in the United States. Another 14,000 women will die from it. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer because the symptoms are vague and there is no reliable screening test.


The Run for Jess/girlpARTs fest announces a CALL FOR ENTRIES for the Saturday, September 17. The Run for Jess starts at 11 a.m. from Cahoon Memorial Park in Bay Village, followed by a girlpARTs fest from noon to 7 p.m. which uses the arts to raise awareness of gynecologic cancers.

The cost to participate is $50 and artists will receive: A 10’x10′ space in the artists tent; 1 chair; 2 artist tickets and two complimentary tickets to the girlpARTS FEST (valued at $80); Artists can bring their own table or rent an 8’ table for $10

Artists can sign up by CLICKING HERE or entering

The girlpARTs fest begins at noon and features performances by Ice Cream Truckers, Carlos Jones and the Plus Band, Natural Wonder and a possible appearance by Caly Bevier—a teen ovarian cancer survivor who is a finalist in America’s Got Talent competition. It will also feature 12 visual artists showcasing and selling their products and various food trucks for meals and refreshments. There will be a survivor recognition ceremony for all cancer survivors. The festival is suitable for all ages; general admission is $20 ($25 at the door). Children under 5 admitted free and tickets for ages 5-12 are $10.

This inaugural event is being organized by Greg Gogul, a Bay Village resident, who lost his 28-year-old wife to ovarian cancer and the NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative based in Rock Island, Illinois. Funds raised will be distributed to the Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Foundation, the Village Project (a Bay Village organization that serves meals to families with a relative undergoing cancer treatment) and also support NormaLeah’s efforts to educate all women and the men who love them about ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.

About NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative:

NormaLeah LogoThe NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative is a 501(c) 3 organization established to create public awareness, promote early detection, and support research for ovarian cancer. NormaLeah is the largest grassroots, volunteer-driven ovarian cancer organization in the country. Our vision is that ovarian cancer screening will become a routine part of a woman’s annual gynecologic exam. The organization honors the memory of two sisters, Norma Yecies Shagrin (May 21, 1935 – June 1, 2008) and Leah Yecies Hantman (July 25, 1931 – August 21, 1998) whose lives were cut short by this deadly disease.

Please visit our website at for more about our programs.


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