Group to make strides for Sandy Hook

Niskayuna run to benefit local and Newtown remembrance efforts

— In the wake of the tragedy that struck Newtown, Conn., many Sandy Hook Elementary families were left wondering how to honor their lost loved ones.

A memorial race was recently planned in Newtown, with proceeds being put towards a memorial for the victims of the shooting. The response to the idea overwhelmed the race organizers though and they determined it was not logistically possible to host all of the runners in Newtown. Instead, organizers suggested interested runners hosted their own satellites of the race, in their own communities and that a portion of any money raised be given to the local community, not just Newtown.

The Niskayuna Moms On the Run, an informal group of approximately 80 Niskayuna women who enjoy running in their free time and who have participated in races across the state, took up the suggestion.

The Niskayuna Strides for Sandy Hook 5K will step off at Niskayuna Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. A 1-mile walk will start at 9:45 a.m. The course will be the same one through Orchard Park used for the Fall Fun Run.

The race will coincide with the one taking place in Newtown, but it will also hold a more local meaning, too.

After a Jan. 4 fire that took the life of 14 year-old Grace Klein the Niskayuna Moms On the Run determined that any money raised would be split between the Newtown memorial and the Niskayuna Fire Department in Klein’s memory. Participating in the run is free, though donations of $25 per family are suggested and any donation is welcomed.

“Anything we raise is more than we had,” said Kelly Anderson, a member of the group who helped to organize the race.

For Moms On the Run, holding the event was a foregone conclusion.

“It felt really important to do. It’s an opportunity to help Newtown as well as our own community,” Anderson said.

The group has no set monetary goal, but hopes to raise as much as possible.

Everyone is invited to participate in the family friendly event. After the run participants are invited to the Niskayuna Town Hall for coffee, hot chocolate, and gathering with friends.

“It’s not a race, it’s a run,” Anderson said. “This isn’t meant to be a sad event or a competition, this is a celebration of our community and of supporting each other.”

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