SHESHEQUIN — A record turnout braved the cold morning that gave way to bright sunshine Saturday as hundreds of community members and running enthusiasts supported the third annual Sheshequin Half Marathon and Walk for Our Buddies at Larnard Hornbrook Park in Sheshequin Township.
In total, over 70 runners made the foot journey from Riverfront Park in Sayre to Hornbrook Park, and over 200 people marched in the one-mile Walk for Our Buddies.
The event looks to raise money and awareness for families and individuals affected by Down Syndrome, according to event treasurer Melinda Godshall.
“This helps fund a $500 grant that families affected by Down Syndrome can apply for every six months,” she said. “This support helps them pay for some medical bills because people with Down Syndrome can often have heart issues, activities like Special Camp and special equipment for kids with Down Syndrome.”
Godshall explained that the walk’s partnership with Bradford County, which organizes the half marathon, has proven to be a great way to build support while also reducing the costs to Walk for Our Buddies, which means more money is able to go back to the organization to support families.
“Runners are able to ‘buddy up’ and sponsor a child with Down Syndrome for the half marathon, and they’ll be able to meet them at the end of the race,” Godshall said. “We also have signs posted up along the way of the run so the runners can see them. Because that course is pretty hard and it’s such a long distance, so we try to do whatever we can do to help push them through.”
Godshall added that they are also looking for more board members as support grows.
“We just want people to know that they’re not alone — that they share a common road and there are others walking the same path — and they’re literally doing that today,” she said. “It’s good to have all these families get together and see that.”
More information about Walk for Our Buddies is available online on its Facebook page and its website www.tspt.biz/walkforourbuddies.html.