Community again steps up for Laurel Run

I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who made our 23rd annual Laurel Memorial Run & Walk a success. It’s heartening to know that so many from our community care enough about the Hotelling family and people with disabilities, that they’re willing to support the event in a variety of ways.

This year’s Laurel Run and Walk was noteworthy for several reasons. For one, we raised a record amount of money — about $2,500 — through sales of the Laurel Run/Walk edition of the OBSERVER. Another financial achievement involved sales of “I support the Laurel Run/Walk” cards at area Kwik Fill locations. Those sales generated $3,158, about $850 more than was raised last year. We thank everyone who bought an edition of the paper or one of the Kwik Fill cards.

There are too many people and organizations to thank individually, but I want to recognize the following:

¯ Publisher John D’Agostino and the staff of the OBSERVER both for the extensive coverage of the event and for publishing the 13th annual Laurel Run/Walk edition of the paper.

¯ Everyone who supported the newspaper sale by volunteering to sell papers. We were happy to have County Executive George Borrello and Silver Creek Mayor Jeff Hornburg selling papers again this year. And we thank Tim Hortons for allowing volunteers to sell the papers at their locations.

¯ Representatives from the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility and the following school districts who took part in the Jamestown-to-Dunkirk relay run: Cassadaga Valley, Clymer, Falconer, Fredonia, Frewsburg, Jamestown, Panama, Sherman, Silver Creek, Southwestern and Westfield. Each year, one of the best experiences from the Laurel Run/Walk events is when the Lakeview Shock folks and the students jog along Central Avenue, shouting in cadence.

¯ The four hardy souls — Rose Carr, Lisa Glasier, Keith Gregoire and Lydia Samuelson — who endured high heat and humidity to accomplish the Laurel-thon, each of them covering the entire 30-mile relay route themselves.

¯ The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police and the police departments from the city of Dunkirk, the town of Ellicott and the city of Jamestown for escorting the runners during the relay.

¯ Mayor Willie Rosas and the city of Dunkirk for again hosting the victory celebration at Washington Park following the conclusion of the relay.

¯ The village of Silver Creek for hosting the main Laurel Run events, and especially the Emergency and Rescue Squad and the Department of Public Works.

¯ Nate Manning of Southern Tier Sound for providing music, and Niles Denning for his professional photography services.

¯ All of our sponsors, particularly our major sponsors: Winifred Crawford Dibert Foundation, FSC Systems, Independent Health, Premier Consulting Associates, and Saxton Kocur and Associates.

¯ Every individual and business that donated money, or provided items for prizes and other gifts in kind.

¯ All of the volunteers who helped make things run smoothly for the main Laurel Run events in Silver Creek.

¯ And of course, the hundreds of people who took part in the 23rd annual Laurel Memorial Run and Walk.

Wayne and Elaine Hotelling created the Laurel Memorial Run and Walk in honor of their oldest daughter, who had special needs. On behalf of Wayne and Elaine, as well as everyone at The Resource Center and Filling the Gap, Inc., I want to extend our gratitude to everyone who made this year’s Laurel Memorial Run and Walk a success by reinforcing the central message of the event — that people with disabilities can accomplish great things, if they’re given the chance.

Steve Waterson is communications coordinator for The Resource Center.