Despite steady but light rain, a large crowd of spectators came out to watch the runners come in at Washington Park for Friday's 16th Annual Laurel Run race.
Organizer Victoria Bardo said the event was moving along without any problems. "It's been going great. We kicked off at 9 o'clock down at MJRC (Michael J. Raymond Center) in Jamestown, which is our headquarters so to speak. We did the relay up Route 60. ... All in all, great running weather, but not great for the spectators," she said.
The rain ended seemingly right as the runners stopped in front of the gazebo and large tented area in the park.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Fourteen employees of the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Facility were among the runners chanting in support of the 16th Annual Laurel Run on Friday.
Captain Sanford Bunn was among employees of the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Facility taking part in the last leg of the run, all of whom came chanting down Fourth Street as they ran. "Well, the rain stopped, so we're happy. A couple years ago, it was just a torrential downpour coming through here," he stated.
Bunn said participation from the facility was solid. "I think we were able to bring 14 employees out of the Lakeview Shock (Correctional Facility) and we had one employee from Collins Correctional join us this year."
The involvement from the facility is not restricted to one group or department, Bunn said. "It's both drill instructors and civilians that work there and we run together."
Bunn said it was the facility's fifth year of participating in the race. "This is our chance to give back to the community," he said.
Today the main events will take place in Silver Creek including an 8-kilometer run; 5K and 1K walks; children's runs; Laurel's Lap (for anyone with a disability); a motorcycle dice run, plus a party in the village square featuring free refreshments, live music, children's activities, and auction and raffle tables.
Check-in and late registration for today events begin at 7 a.m. The 5K and 1K walks begin at 8:30 a.m., with the 8K run beginning at 9 a.m. The children's runs (for those age 7 and younger) begin at 10:15 a.m.
Laurel's Lap, in which anyone with a disability is invited to take a lap around the ball field in downtown Silver Creek, begins at 10:30 a.m. Laurel's Lap is the signature event of Laurel Run, as onlookers cheer the individuals with disabilities as they make their way to the finish line.
Registration for the dice run begins at 10 a.m., with the bikers heading out at noon on a journey that will include stops at the Cassadaga Legion, the Ellery Center VFW, the War Vets Club near Jamestown, and the Westfield Legion before returning to Silver Creek. At each stop, participants will be given a roll of the dice. Re-rolls cost $1, and people may re-roll as often as they like. Prizes will be given to the high-rolling driver; the low-rolling driver; the high-rolling rider; and the low-rolling rider.
Laurel Run was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling in honor of their oldest daughter, who has Down Syndrome. Laurel Run is intended to raise awareness about the potential that exists within everyone who has a disability and to celebrate the achievements of individuals with disabilities.
Proceeds from Laurel Run go to TRC Foundation to support disability awareness and prevention efforts in Chautauqua County. Money raised through Laurel Run also is used to enhance employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities, like Laurel.
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