BETHLEHEM Now in its third year, the Capital Region Special Surgery Race for Hope is quickly becoming cemented as a growing annual tradition.
If you're looking for reasons why this 5K is meeting success, you could consider the worthy causes (the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region and a patient fund at St. Peter's Hospital), the atmosphere at the start/finish line, the early fall date or the location. You could also look to the people.
Last year, about 500 people participated in the race and perhaps another 700 turned out to offer support and enjoy the day. All said, in the past two years this event has raised about $100,000. That's nothing to scoff at, especially these days. With registration building momentum and participation on track to exceed last year's level, organizers hope it will again raise $50,000.
“In an economy like this, matching what you did the year before is growing,” said race organizer SarahNicole Mahoney of Capital Region Special Surgery in Slingerlands. “The corporate sponsors, their hearts are always in the right place, but there's a lot of events in this town, and a lot of worthy organizations. ... I think the success of this event continues to be led by the individual registrants.”
That includes individuals like Deb LaPietro, who will be running in the race for the third time and is organizing a team to memorialize a fellow teacher at Westmere Elementary School in Guilderland who died of cancer a few years ago.
The Farley's Friends team will be a way to remember for those who knew Daryl Farley, a 22-year teacher of first- and second-graders.
“She was great with the little ones, that's what we remember most about her,” LaPietro said. “She was just a kind, caring teacher that the kids just adored.”
Farley's friends and family ran in the first Race for Hope on something of a whim as Farley lay at St. Peter's Hospital. Now, LaPietro hopes that the run will become an annual tradition.