The Tucker Community Foundation’s ‘Run for It’ again surpassed expectations as more than 1,400 participants representing 85 community causes walked and ran for it.
This year’s event raised over $300,000 for local charities throughout the foundation’s region – Barbour, Grant, Mineral, Preston, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker counties, W.Va. and Garrett County, Md.
Anne Wardwell, chair of Run For It, was excited about the number of people who showed up on Saturday.
“This is a fantastic event which encourages individuals and groups to support local causes,” she said. “Rather than groups asking for money for support, they engage and ask other people to come out and walk or run. Plus, it’s a really healthy activity.”
Kelly Stadelman, development director of the Tucker Community Foundation, credited the team captains and the numerous volunteers for the event’s success.
“I have to give the team captains credit for rallying so much support for their organizations,” she said. “They work hard raising money for team sponsorship which they can leverage to get award money.
“We also have over 80 volunteers who help with the two-day event. We couldn’t do it without them and all their hard work.”
Robert Burns, executive director of the Foundation, and David Cooper, president of the Board of Directors, handed out medals and money to the winning individuals and teams. Also helping was Katrina Valentine of the McDonough Foundation who distributed $25,000 to the charities, Tucker County Commissioners Diane Hinkle and Lowell Moore who distributed $5,000 and Mineral County Commissioner Dr. Rick Lechliter and Mineral County Coordinator Drew Brubaker who distributed $500.
John Gagnon was the first male to cross the finish line. He won the 5k race with a time of 16:53 winning $1,500 for the Davis Volunteer Fire Department. Martha Nelson was the first female to cross the finish line. With a time of 20:05, she won $1,500 for the Heart of the Highlands.
First to finish 2k awards sponsored by St. George Medical Clinic: Fastest, Brian Zirk won $500 and Rosette Zirk won $500, both for Tucker County Young Life; Youth, Dustin Fridley $250 for Oak Dale Church of the Brethren and Allison Evick $250 for Randolph Tucker CAC; Adult, Brad Spencer $250 for WV Mountain Ministries and Michelle Mullenaux $250 for Tucker Runners; and Masters, Chris Ujvagi $500 for the Challenged Athletes of West Virginia; and Masters: Mike Sayre $250 for West Virginia Council Trout Unlimited and Diane Radar $250 for CVVFD Auxiliary Power.
Cortland Acres sponsored the over 80 awards. Winning in this category was Gerald Carter $250 for the Tucker County Animal Shelter, Barbara Crist $250 for Pocahontas Senior Center, and Juanita Nestor $250 for Team WV Caring.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd when Cooper recognized the David Begg family.
“David was the captain of the Challenge Athletes team for many years,” Cooper said. “David passed away in June just weeks after signing up to captain this year’s team. In memory of David, we have named an Run For It award after him. The Challenged Athletes Gold Star award is now called the David Begg Gold Star.”
This year’s David Begg Gold Star winners were: Brandon Pickrel, $500 for Davis Volunteer Fire Department and Mary Mullenax $250 for Billie G. Armstrong for Pregnancy.
Other top awards included Best Team Effort. First place went to Challenged Athletes, second place Mountaintop Readers, third place Philippi Bookworms, fourth place Friends of the Cheat and fifth place Belington Public Library.
Stadelman said the team award totals will be tallied and announced to team captains by mid-October. For a complete list of the 5k competitive results visit www.tuckerfoundation.net/run
Major Run For It sponsors include: St. George Medical Clinic, Dominion Foundation, FirstEnergy, Mettiki Coal, NextEra, Canaan Valley Resort, Run Jeb Run, Barbour County Community Foundation, Citizens Bank of WV, Grant County Bank and Cortland Acres, Pocahontas County Commission, Randolph County Commission, Barbour County Commission, Preston County Commission, Grant County Commission, Garrett County Commission, Mike Ross, Inc., PCM Industries, Kingsford Manufacturing, Mountain Valley Bank, Davis Health System, Garrett Regional Medical Center, Best of Canaan, Stumptown Ales, State Farm, GJ Garton, Preston-Taylor Health Services, United Financial Center, First United Bank & Trust, Edward Jones Investment, Community Care Pharmacy, Davis Dental, Miners & Merchants, Canaan Valley Lawn & Landscape, Green Rivers, Meyer Household, Scott & Nypl CPAs, McClain Printing, West Virginia Paving, LaMora Household, Big John’s Family Fixin’s, Mountaintop Realty, Grant Memorial Hospital, Allegheny Holistic Health Care, Canaan Village, Beall Household, Boyce Household, Sirianni’s, Landis Realty, White Grass, Blackwater Bikes, Blackwater Outdoor Adventures and Monongalia General Hospital.
The Tucker Community Foundation manages more than 120 endowed funds providing annual scholarships and grants to nonprofits and charitable causes throughout the eight-county service area. Inspired by the flood of 1985, the mission of the Foundation is to create opportunities for the communities we serve. For more information on Run For It or to learn about the foundation, visit www.tuckerfoundation.net