Townwide Fund Thanks Key Club
The Townwide Fund of Huntington couldn't have done it without the Huntington High School Key club. The Thanksgiving Day run is a massive undertaking, but a group of special teenagers helped make for a smooth morning.
Bea Hartigan, the Townwide Fund's volunteer race chair, recently sent a letter to Huntington Principal Carmela Leonardi "to pass on to you the news" that Key club members "gave significant volunteer support" to the four-mile race and fun runs sponsored by the charitable organization.
Key club members Jamie Brown, Ashley Angstadt, Kerri Ann Giambruno, Celine Takekoshi, Michelle Rosenbauer, Alexandra Martinolich, Cynthia Gowani and Samantha Levine were proverbial "jacks of all trades," performing an assortment of otherwise thankless tasks.
The Huntington students arrived at 7:15 a.m. "with smiles" and "were ready to pitch in one any task we asked," Ms. Hartigan said. The teenagers each contributed four hours of time, doing everything from setting out the bagels, spreads, coffee and other hot-drinks, lugging water, setting up cups filled with water, cleaning up debris, registering participants and even encouraging runners during the race.
Huntington Class of 2011 member Anna Harris "took them under her experienced wing and directed them," Ms. Hartigan said. The four mile run drew 1,743 entries while the fun run attracted 300 participants.
During the four mile race, Ms. Rosenbauer and Ms. Gowani were posted at the far end of the course near Southdown road, "where they cheered the runners on at the turnaround," Ms. Hartigan said. "They made sure that everyone knew just where to make that turn."
Brian McConnell and his sister, Kelly are two more special Huntington High School student-volunteers. They are veterans of Townwide Fund runs and the two teenagers "held down the fun run registration and then helped with other chores," Ms. Hartigan said.
"It should also be noted that Brian and Kelly helped at the pre-race pick-up at Super Runners' Shop after-school on Tuesday and most of Wednesday, with Victor Tellez also joining them Wednesday afternoon," Ms. Hartigan told Dr. Leonardi. "They worked very well under tense conditions, seeing to it that the runners received their items and registering additional runners."
The Key club is guided by faculty advisors Kelly Krycinski and Gina Colica. Ms. Hartigan praised the two Huntington High School English teachers for helping to reinforce with club members "the expectations for community service that will help to inform their lives as they move on from the high school."
Key club members formed the "main force" responsible for cleaning up the American Legion building and grounds, which was used as the race's staging area.
"All of these students are to be praised for their unselfish volunteering and for being such commendable representatives of Huntington High School," Ms. Hartigan said.