From now until July 29, area residents can show their support for people with disabilities by buying paper sneakers in conjunction with the 16th annual Laurel Run.
For the 10th straight year, United Refining Company's Kwik Fill and Red Apple Food Mart locations will be selling paper sneakers. Customers who purchase a sneaker can write their name on the sneaker and have it displayed in the store. The suggested donation is $1, but donations of any amount are appreciated.
Sneakers will be sold at participating locations in Chautauqua and Erie counties in New York, and in Warren County, PA. The sneakers bear an image of event namesake Laurel Hotelling.
This is a facsimile of the sneakers being sold at Kwik Fill locations.
All the money raised in Chautauqua County goes to TRC Foundation to support disability awareness and prevention efforts, and to enhance employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities.
Money raised in Erie and Warren counties will be split 50/50 between TRC Foundation and organizations that support people with disabilities in each of those counties.
Laurel Run was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling of Silver Creek in honor of their oldest daughter, who has Down syndrome. Laurel Run seeks to raise public awareness about individuals with disabilities while providing an opportunity for people with disabling conditions to come together with their non-disabled peers in a fun, community-wide atmosphere.
This year's Laurel Run takes place July 20 and 21. The first day consists of the traditional Jamestown-to-Dunkirk flag relay, which features students and adults from schools throughout Chautauqua County running legs of the relay. The following day in Silver Creek features activities including an 8-kilometer run, a 5k fitness walk, a 1k fun walk, children's runs, and "Laurel's Lap," in which anyone with a disability is invited to take a lap around the track surrounding the village ball field. In the afternoon there will be a motorcycle dice run.
For more information about Laurel Run, call (716) 483-2344. Details also can be found by visiting www.laurel-run.com.