Tons of people turned out Saturday to attend the Hawley Library's third annual "Run to Read," and a separate event, the Hawley Harvest Hoedown.
The library's 5K race/walk was a success with 106 participants competing and raising about $5,000 for the library. Assistant Director of the Library, Deb Corcoran said she was, "ecstatic," about the race's success. The funds and number of participants has surpassed previous years by about 10 percent. Corcoran said she hopes to see the race continue to grow.
Friends and families ran and walked through a course that went through Hawley and was created by John Tintle, a former cross country coach from Wallenpaupack Area High School.
Aside from the adult race, there was the, "Fun Run," for kids that was about a mile long for the future runners of the world.
A member of the Library Board and Chair of the race, Susie George said the turnout was wonderful. There were 65 preregistrations which she said was, "far and above," previous years. Aside from the number of participants, George said she was also grateful for the generous sponsors.
Trophies, medals and ribbons were awarded to the winners and participants, with everyone receiving a tee-shirt. Placing first overall for men was Steven Brown with a time of 18:07, followed by Jeff Hugaboom at 18:14 and Jacob Pasake at 19:31. Overall for the women, Tiffany Levanthal placed first with a time of 20:02 followed by Abby Pittinger with a time of 20:51.
Overall first place runner, Steven Brown said he was happy with his time. The course, he said, was fun, somewhat easy, but also, "deceptively hard," because there were parts that he didn't expect.
Second place runner, Jeff Hugaboom said the course was pretty challenging because the second mile was up a tough hill, so keeping pace wasn't easy. Neither men had participated in the library's race before.
Placing first for the women, Tiffany Leventhil ran with her parents waiting at the finish line. Leventhil said the course was "beautiful," but there was a hill that, "sneaks up like a monster." Aside from the race, she added that the overall atmosphere of the day was great because it was very positive.
Avid supporters of the library, friends Marci Ali and Lauren Brand walked and ran parts of the race. This year, was the friend's second time participating in the annual event. There is a volunteer award at the library, which is named after Brand's grandparents, Alma and Charlie Hanes. The women said, part of why they ran was because the library has been a part of their lives for a long time.
Morgan Augustine ran her first race Saturday with her daughter Christy running in the children's Fun Run. Christy and the family's black lab Ollie run regularly, so Christy said the race wasn't too difficult. Big supporters of the library, Morgan is involved in the children's programs.
Page 2 of 2 - When Reg Thomas first ran in the race three years ago, he said there were 40 participants. The turnout Saturday, he said was, "awesome." Working with his wife Barbara, the couple did the timing and scorekeeping. Thomas said the growth of the race is, "phenomenal," especially because there were other races occurring in the region.
Hawley Mayor, Kevin Hawk started the race with a cap gun. The turnout of the day, he said was wonderful because the staff at the library does so much for the community. He added that, "the community understands the library," with area business donating items.
The oldest race competitor, at the age of 91, Archie Viehl walked the race because it was exercise. The course, he said with a laugh was, "interesting."
Following the library's race, the 2013 Hawley Harvest Hoedown was alive and busy on Keystone and Church streets. There were arts and crafts, live music, food and numerous activities for everyone.
It has been 15 years since Michelle and Tom Reynolds started, "Pocono Kettle Corn," to help pay for their kids' college tuition. The couple said their business has been great as kettle corn is very popular. Working at various events, Michelle said its often fun and they meet a lot of nice people. A secret to not burning the kettle corn, Tom explained is that its, "all in the stirring."
Five years ago, Robbin Kizer and Timothy Hughs lost their 17-year-old son, Brendan to cancer. As a way of keeping his name alive and coping with their loss, they started, "One Child Too Many, a Brendan Kizer Foundation," to help families who are dealing with loves ones that have the disease. Prior to Brendan's passing, it was actually his idea to start the foundation that helps families pay mortgages, rent, bills and more. To date, since the foundation's start, about 220 families have received assistance. Robbin said her son is her motivation, and the couple started the foundation only a month after Brendan passed. At the Hoedown, people were invited to play a game created by one of Brendan's friends, and in the end, everyone received a goldfish. For information about, "One Child Too Many," visit www.onechildtoomany.org.
Hawley Harvest Hoedown is hosted by Downtown Hawley Partnership.