Norwalk Reflector: Plans already in the works for next year's race
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Plans already in the works for next year's race

Stacey Hartley • Jul 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM

The Michael H. Hay Scholarship program held its annual Mapletree Road Race last Thursday on the Fourth of July.

This year’s race was the organization’s third, drawing 267 walkers and runners.

“We are exhausted,” said Pam Bellamy, who with husband, Mark, put on the race with help from numerous volunteers and sponsors.

“We just get volunteers,” Pam said. “They never (get) paid anything.”

Despite gaining nearly 100 more participants than last year, the Bellamys already are focusing on what can be improved upon next year.  

That will include St. Paul High School’s Business Club, which this year was responsible for “running” a pre-registration event the day before at Eagle Creek Golf Club’s Cameo At the Creek restaurant.

“We really just kind of send them on their way … they pretty much do it (pre-registration event) all,” Mark said.

The event featured opportunities to register for the race, food, printed T-shirts/tank tops, words from local speakers and live music by Jerry Zsigo.

“What’s really cool is that this fundraiser is run by students — for students,” Claire Ceccoli said of the team that meets before the school-day twice a week.

Tori Pocos was in charge of securing sponsorships, with help from Jarret Schaffer, whose brother, Andrew, bounced from committee-to-committee like Ceccoli. This is Claire’s third time helping the with the races, and will not be the 16-year-old’s last, as she plans on continuing to support Mapletree Road Race events in the future. 

Ally Brown and Jude Sweet worked on marketing and promoting the event, including maintaining its website and social media platforms. ”Yeah, we’re basically the IT (information technology) people,” Brown laughed.

In charge of race-day logistics was Sara Scavuzzo, who actually works at Cameo.

When asked what the most challenging aspects of putting on the event were, Pocos said “Trying to stay organized.” Additionally, the teens agreed balancing time, reaching out to area businesses for donations and making calls required more work than originally expected.

“Coming home from college,” added Brown, “you learn to appreciate how hard it was to balance time between schoolwork and other things in high school.”

The most rewarding part? 

“Seeing it come together, it’s like ‘oh my gosh, we did this!’” Ceccoli said. 

As for their plans after the race, Scavuzzo plans to continue playing golf for St. Paul; Brown is interning at an aerospace defense organization; Sweet, who plays tight-end and cornerback said “getting ready for the football season;” the Schaffer boys plan to prepare for the swim team; Ceccoli will continue to run, while Pocos is “waiting for senior year.”  

According to the organization’s website, 100 percent of the funds raised go to scholarships, for approximately 164 students in the area. For more information on the Michael H. Hay Scholarship program and/or the Mapletree Road Race visit the organization’s Facebook page and website.

 

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