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Raising the bar on hope

There's been an even more concerted effort to harness local teams, including area schools. A big new initiative is The Educators' Challenge, which will give schools an opportunity to win a SmartBoard donated by Audio-Video Corporation of Menands.

The school whose participants raise the most money will take home the high-tech teaching tool. It's a good way to get students more directly involved in fundraising, said Mahoney.

"It kind of gives an empowering sense to students, not just in that they're raising money for a good cause ... but they might be able to raise something really cool for their school as well," she said.

Acting as ambassador for The Educators' Challenge is Bethlehem Central Superintendent Michael Tebbano.

"We are proud to welcome the participants in the Race for Hope 2 to our community," Tebbano said in a statement. "We believe the Educators' Challenge will allow the entire educational community of the Capital Region to come together to show their support for two wonderful organizations."

The academic component of the race doesn't end there. School Administrators' Association of New York State Executive Director Kevin Casey will be participating as a runner, and the organization is encouraging other members to get involved. Also, UAlbany will be sending participants from its athletic teams. Vice President Athletic Director Lee McElroy is serving as the race starter.

Participants can register for $25 up until noon on Sept. 16, when online registration closes. Day of race registration is $30, and starts at 6 a.m. Packet pickup begins at 7 a.m. the day of the race. Free parking will be available across the street from the Special Surgery offices at 1220 New Scotland Road, where the race will step off at 10 a.m.

After the race, there will be food, entertainment and other events in the Special Surgery parking lot.

For more information or to register, see wwwcapitalregionspecialsurgery.com/raceforhopealbany.""

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