5K races to the aid of children in need

AMENIA — Hand-in-hand, the students at Maplebrook School have engaged runners and walkers throughout the Tri-state region to participate in a 5K race to raise funds for the Panichi Family Center for Communication and Learning at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie for the fifth year in a row. The event was held on Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, starting at the Mechanic Street entrance. As always, participants were eager to begin once on the starting line.

“I wanted to run today because I’m helping to raise money,� said Maplebrook School student Kate Yonushewki. “I think it’s important to raise money to help out. This is my second year. I liked doing it a lot last year because I helped out for a good cause.�

Tracey Wilson came from Falls Village, Conn. She said she was compelled to join the run the morning of the race.

“Occasionally I run and I just decided this morning I would,� she said. “It’s a nice day and a good cause. I think it’s a great idea [that Maplebrook sponsors the race and the students participate] and it brings people together.�

Sharon’s Mike Dudek agreed.

“I know people from the school and this is as good a cause as any for all of the races around here,� he said, adding that this was his fifth Hand-in-Hand 5K for the Panichi Family Center. “I think it’s a good thing, a great idea, to get the kids out and running. That’s really the purpose of doing this, to get the kids out, because otherwise this would be a fairly small race.�

Perhaps a small race, but for a large cause; the Panichi Family Center provides “a therapeutic environment for children who are in need of clinical services. It has become a satellite center to serve children and adults with communication disorders requiring speech, hearing and related evaluation and treatment services,� according to its literature. St. Francis Hospital is in Poughkeepsie; the Panichi Family Center serves children from school districts in Millbrook, Pawling, Dover, Pine Plains, Webutuck and beyond.

“This event raises good funds for the center — which is great,� said Nicholas Shannon, special events coordinator at the St. Francis Health Care Foundation.

And by having Maplebrook students participate in the event the rewards are twofold, as the students come to appreciate the importance of helping others, according to Maplebrook’s Lori Hale, assistant head of school for development/advancement/alumni.

“We love doing this event,� she said. “I think one of the things the students learn is that it’s important to give back to people they don’t even know. This is their opportunity to give back. They have big hearts and this is another way to show it.�

All funds raised from the walk/run will go directly to the special needs preschool program; they will also be matched by Emil Panichi for Maplebrook’s use.

According to Hale, “The success of the event wouldn’t be possible without our Starting Gate sponsors,  the Amenia Lions Club and George T. Whalen Insurance; the 1/4 Mile sponsors, Little Professors Day Care, Robert L. Savage, Meyer Contracting Corp., Liscum, McCormack and VanVoorhis Architects; and our 1/2 Mile  sponsors, the Mahopac National Bank, Bank of Millbrook and Welsh Sanitation/Royal Carting. Prizes for students collecting the most pledges were also donated by Anaconda Sports and WDST Radio.â€�

The 5K had 31 walkers and 30 runners participate in the event. The results were as follows:

First-place male: Chris Wimmers from Salt Point, N.Y., 18:19:12, First-place female: Kim Kosciusko from Sharon,  23:05:48.  

For the 4-to-15 age group, male: First place was Jesse Cappellaro from Millerton; second place was Zachary Cope from Millerton.

For the 4-to-15 age group,  female: First place was Paris Beddingfield from Sharon; second place was Caroline Bailey from Sharon; third place was Genevieve Meller from Lakeville, Conn.

In the 16-to-30 age group, male: First place was David Burnett from Maplebrook School.

In the 31-to-40 age group, male: First place was Chris Wimmers from Salt Point; second place was Scott Bove from Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

In the 31-to-40 age group, female: First place was Carita Gardiner from Lakeville; second place was Tracey Wilson from Falls Village.

In the  41-to-50 age group, male: First place was Tom Kohl from Millerton.

In the 41-to-50 age group, female: First place was Kim Kosciusko from Sharon; second place was Mary Veltre from Poughkeepsie; third place was Susan Beddingfield from Sharon.

In the 51-to-60 age group, male: First place was Dave Fernekes from Poughkeepsie; second place was Michael Murphy from Millbrook; third place was Bill Beebe from Falls Village.

In the 51-to-60 age group, female: First place was Carol Keenan Kohl from Millerton; second place was Sarah Vallera from Lakeville; and third place was Joan Baldwin from Salisbury.

In the 60+ age group, male: First place was Daniel Prosser from Philmont, N.Y.; second place was Ed Frederick from Hillsdale, N.Y.

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