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More than a walk

Millie proves doggone good to Laurel Run

Kurt Langer sits with his Millie, who raised $3,800 for the Laurel Run last year.

Many have already registered for the Virtual Laurel Memorial Run/Walk, which takes place this weekend. But one participant could be considered the top dog.

According to Wayne Hotelling, chief organizer for the event, Millie has been in active training for her fifth Laurel Fund Walk. “She has been walking the streets of Silver Creek and up the Walnut Creek, happily playing in the water and chasing the wildlife she sees,” Hotelling reports. “Millie realizes that the Laurel Walk will be different this year due to the coronavirus but understands that the need to raise money for programs for disabled individuals still exists. She will greatly miss Laurel’s Lap, which was her favorite part of the Laurel Run weekend.”

For this year’s run or walk, people are invited to complete an 8K Run or 5K Walk on their own. Participants also can choose to walk or run a different distance, or you can choose another type of activity, such as bicycling, kayaking or swimming.

Those entering are encouraged to complete their Virtual Run or Walk by this Saturday, which would have been the date of this year’s Laurel Run/Walk events in Silver Creek. There will not be age-group prizes this year for the 8K Run and 5K Walk, but people are invited to upload their times.

Instructions on how to do that can be found during the online registration process at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/SilverCreek/LaurelMemorialRunWalk.

The Laurel Memorial Run/Walk was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling in honor of their oldest daughter, Laurel, who had Down syndrome. For many years Laurel was the Grand Marshal of the event. Sadly, she passed away in 2017 at the age of 54. Proceeds from the event supports those with disabilities in Western New York state; Filling the Gap, Inc., which supports The Resource Center; and a dedicated group of volunteers.

Also on Friday, the traditional Laurel Memorial Run flag relay will take place.

There will be a reduced number of runners and the flags will be sanitized to keep everyone safe. In addition, several people will be riding or biking the full 30 miles from Jamestown to Dunkirk. “We thank Chautauqua County Sheriff, Jamestown Police Department, Ellicott Town Police Department, village of Fredonia Police Department, and Dunkirk Police Department for providing coverage to keep our runners safe,” the Laurel Run Committee announced on its Facebook page.

As for Millie, she is well on her way. Those who want to consider sponsoring her in this event can go to https://runsignup.com/BernersForLaurel2020. “She hopes to surpass last year’s total of $3,800, which is doable with your support and help,” Hotelling said.

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