Log in Subscribe

River Run goes virtual for 2020

Jeanne Sager - Reporter/Photographer
Posted 5/21/20

CALLICOON — The doors of the Delaware Youth Center may be shut, but the Callicoon institution is still running ... literally.

With Sullivan County still on PAUSE, the non-profit has turned its …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

River Run goes virtual for 2020


CALLICOON — The doors of the Delaware Youth Center may be shut, but the Callicoon institution is still running ... literally.

With Sullivan County still on PAUSE, the non-profit has turned its annual July 5K/10K River Run fundraiser into a virtual run and walk — opening the event up to anyone, anywhere to help raise some money for the center.

Traditionally the race has been one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the DYC. This year, Santoro hopes it can help bridge a significant funding gap.

“COVID-19 has been challenging for the Youth Center, as we know it has been for so many in our community," said Race Director Ann Santoro. "Our board closed the center in accordance with the governor's mandate and to keep our members safe.”

But that closure has meant lost revenue for the center, chiefly the myriad rentals of Grover Hermann Hall and the Youth Center pavilion for parties and weddings that help offset the costs of offering programs for hundreds of area children every year.

Even with its doors closed, the Youth Center still has bills to pay, Santoro said.

That's where the 22nd River Run comes in.

In 2019, the center added its first ever virtual component, named for Gary A. Winglovitz, a former Cochecton resident who grew up using the Youth Center. Winglovitz was an avid runner who died in 2014 at 41, and in the years since wife Amy Stewart and kids Avianna and Miles have walked and run the River Run in his memory with a team of friends and family members.

“The Winglovitz Team has been one of our biggest, and Amy is one of our biggest Youth Center supporters,” Santoro said. “We're very grateful that this year she has graciously allowed us to take the Gary A. Winglovitz Virtual Run and make it our entire fundraiser.”

A virtual run means there will be no official timekeeper or official awards as runners and walkers will be on the honor system. It also means people can stay socially distanced, running or walking whenever the weather is just right for them wherever in the world they happen to be.

The official race day is July 18 this year — the first time the race is being held on a Saturday — but the center has opened up participation to happen any time between the 18th and August 1 to accommodate the nature of a virtual run.

For a $25 fee, racers will get a race t-shirt and be able to print an official race bib when they sign up online at https://raceroster.com/events/2020/27808/delaware-youth-center-river-race. With the pressures COVID has put on individual families, the race committee has acknowledged that families who have participated in the past may not be able to spend the race fee on each child. So no one misses out, some sponsors have put up the funds to pay for children's race fees.

If a child wants to participate in the River Run but the cost of registration is a burden, Santoro asks parents to contact her directly at 5k@delawareyouthcenter.org to receive a sponsored registration. That email can also be used to offer to sponsor a child runner.

The Youth Center is asking runners and walkers to take a photo of themselves and upload it to social media, tagging the Delaware Youth Center and using hashtag #DYCRiverRun.

“Every year, we look forward to seeing all our racers and are so grateful for their continued support of the Delaware Youth Center River Run. This year, we are truly going to miss seeing our ‘race family' in person, but we hope they will still join us from a distance, and we look forward to seeing their photos on social media,” Santoro said. “We are grateful to our community for all of their support.”


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here