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Lauds support for Pumpkin Run

Published 4:10 pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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To the Editor:

On behalf of the Kent Chamber of Commerce, we would like to thank the multitudes of people who came together to make the 36th running of the Kent Pumpkin Run a rousing success.

In spite of the pending Hurricane Sandy, more than 100 youngsters participated in the Kids Fun Run and more than 500 adults started the five-mile course.

We are delighted so many people place this event on their calendars each year. There were runners from nine states and even Great Britain, ranging in age from 6 to 84.

These runners were also very generous, donating more than $200 to the Kent Food Bank with their online registrations, along with numerous boxes of nonperishable food.

No event of this size can succeed without support and help from many. Volunteers helped with everything from the starting cannon to painting the finish line.

Getting everyone registered and handing out race bibs fell to Darlene Brady, Sharon Cipolla, Bobbie Davis, Laura McLaughlin, Jeanne McRoberts, Marge Smith, Lyn Stirnweiss and Bernadette Ellegard, while Maureen Smith greeted and directed the racers.

Cindy Dunleavy provided direction at the four-mile split.

With supervision from Bruce Adams and Ira Smith, students from Kent School guided visitors to parking areas.

Wayne Blackman, Scott Eldredge, Mark Hanley, Norm Mosher, Perry Simone, Dana Slaughter and members of the Kent Volunteer Fire Department directed traffic in town and on the race course to ensure safety.

EMT members stood by in case of injury.

Service coordinator Steve Klots from South Kent School organized students who staffed vital water stops along the way.

Jack Rafferty and Larry Dumoff made certain the race began and ended properly.

Students from Region I helped with whatever needed, as did members of Kent Public Works.

Thanks to the Kent Memorial Library and volunteer Steve Brooks, the Classic 2001 Bright Red Chevrolet Corvette the library raffled off served as the pace car, inspiring runners to get to the finish line and buy tickets.

Andy Ocif and the American Legion Post 153 provided color guard as the racers got started.

Great food at the end was thanks to Gary Davis, Sarah Swan, Geraldine Woodruff and Bill Leo's famous pumpkin soup.

Laura Eldredge and Lee Sohl judged the costume contest while Chamber treasurer Jeff Namm handled all the money.

George Potts provided music and Terry Williams announced the winners.

Charlie Greystone made sure trash was collected and disposed of properly.

Lesly Ferris, Park and Recreation director, worked with Anna Dumoff to make the Kids Fun Run a great success and, well -- lots of fun.

Photographer Lans Christensen captured all the great moments and costumes for posterity.

Of course, the race would not be possible without our sponsors.

At the gold level are Davis IGA, Union Savings Bank, Litchfield Magazine, Bartlett Tree Experts and Sharon Hospital.

Silver level sponsors include Kent Green, Region One Athletic Fund, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Webster Bank.

Bronze level supporters are Bull's Bridge Inn, Fife'n Drum, Fitness Matters of Kent, Hastey Security Systems, Kent Physical Therapy, Kent Pizza & Pasta Garden, Kent Specialty Care Center, Kent Wine & Spirit, Law Office of Cecilia Buck-Taylor and Matson Financial Advisors.

Also, Morrison Gallery, New York Life Insurance, Riley's Furniture, Rolling River Antiques, Rose & Kiernan Insurance, Salisbury Bank & Trust, Washington Montessori School, Winters Bros. Waste Systems and Woodbridge Running Co.

As always, John Casey and the Kent Green were wonderful hosts, with harvest decor provided by Bill McCann.

Larry Cassidy and Karen Stevens used their artistic skills to paint the finish line and Kent resident and nationally recognized artist Peter Kirkiles designed and constructed a finish line gate.

Thanks also to other volunteers who helped to make the day great.

And finally, thanks to all the Kent residents who came out to cheer the runners, generally helped to make them feel welcome and created a festive day.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2013, hopefully with clear weather.

Dave Dunleavy

Director

Kent Pumpkin Run