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The River Run comes back

Posted 7/13/21

CALLICOON — Ask Ann Santoro to describe planning a fundraising race in 2021, and she's got one word for you: “Challenge.”

With COVID rules and regulations changing what can feel …

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The River Run comes back

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CALLICOON — Ask Ann Santoro to describe planning a fundraising race in 2021, and she's got one word for you: “Challenge.”

With COVID rules and regulations changing what can feel like daily, the long-time director of the Delaware Youth Center's River Race has seen this year's race go from “not happening” to “well maybe” to “let's do it” in recent months.

And after a year and a half that's left the Callicoon non-profit unable to run most of its fundraisers or rent out its facilities to make up the funds that enable the volunteer organization to provide services for the kids of the local community, it's a big relief.

“We haven't been able to be open for our kids, but we also haven’t been able to raise the money we need to provide for our community's kids,” Santoro said. “Being able to run the River Race this year means we will be able to raise some very-much needed funds.”

That’s been a challenge for the Youth Center. At some 80 years old, it's a Callicoon institution that the community has come to depend on, but the facility has likewise come to depend on memberships, rentals, and more to keep paying insurance, utilities, and other costs.

In a typical year, it's tough. In the pandemic, with memberships down and rentals entirely shut down as the facility had to close, the challenge has become immense for the non-profit. A grant helped with renovations that should prove beneficial overall, but grant regulations have meant the funds could only be used for that work — not for day-to-day bills. The facility has only just been able to restart its summer program and reopen its hall to rentals, was able to bring back the Tractor Parade, and is working to slowly get things back to “normal.”

That’s the sort of challenge Santoro’s talking about. But so are all the changes that have popped up in planning a race. With just a week until the run date – this coming Sunday, July 18 — finally the Youth Center can say that racers can run without masks (although they’re certainly allowed if people feel more comfortable).

The Race has traditionally been a 10K and 5K, but with NYS Health Department mandates changing so frequently, the decision was made to stick to a 5K for social distancing. Runners who want to maintain the longer distance or even steer clear of social contact can stick with the Gary Winglovitz Virtual Run, started before the pandemic in memory of one of the Youth Center’s own who passed away in 2014.

The River Run has also been able to bring back day-of registrations, will be accepted on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. before the race, and refreshments will be available at the DYC pavilion. There will also be registrations at the Youth Center this Saturday, along with packet pick-up, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Walkers will begin Sunday's race at 8 a.m, followed by runners at 8:30 a.m. Race times will be calculated on chip time so racers can space out.

To register early, sign up online at https://raceroster.com/events/2021/46960/delaware-youth-center-river-race.

Funds will go to benefit the Delaware Youth Center and its events for local kids.

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