Now that the weather has warmed, people across the area are on the move.
This is the time of year that awareness and fundraising events move outdoors, or at least encourage people to move, with all types of walks, runs and relay events.
Some of the most popular are the Relay for Life overnight events to benefit the American Cancer Society. The season kicked off locally with the Hartwick College and State University College at Oneonta’s event early this month. It will continue Friday with the Delaware County Relay for Life in Delhi, the Tri-Towns event in Bainbridge on May 3, the Cooperstown/Northern Otsego event at Cooperstown Dreams Park on May 17, and Chenango County’s Relay in Norwich on July 19. These events have raised millions for cancer research, and offer hope, support and education to the community.
Another campaign that is growing is regarding autism, which now affects one in 88 children. The Kilberman Center, a regional organization for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related learning challenges, started the Walks for Autism, one of which was held in Cooperstown last weekend.
Some events focus more on raising awareness than funds. The Oneonta Walk for PNH earlier this month, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, aimed to educate people about PNH, a rare bone marrow-failure disease.
There are also fundraising walks and runs throughout the spring and summer, focused on multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, premature babies, among others.
But it’s not just diseases and disabilities that benefit from local events.
CROP Walk, created by Church World Service, helps support anti-hunger programs. Three-quarters of the proceeds get sent to needy people around the world, and 25 percent stays local. Schoharie and Oneonta are among the communities hosting these events.
Other events benefit local groups and organizations.
The Richfield Springs Community Center will have its annual run/walk on Saturday. Funds raised from the 10k and 5k runs, two-mile walk and half-mile children’s loop will benefit the center’s youth programming.
The Angel Network of Cooperstown, which helps children in need in the Cooperstown area, is planning its second annual Tot Trot/Fenimore 5k on June 29.
All this running and walking doesn’t end at summer’s close. One of the area’s biggest events, the Pit Run comes in the fall, memorializing fallen state trooper Ricky “Pit” Parisian and raising money for scholarships in his honor. But in the coming weeks and months, the opportunities to get out and support a good cause are numerous enough to keep everyone plenty busy until then. We encourage everyone to get out, get going and get involved.