Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Huff Run Partnership Makes Impact At Community Festival

It was a long, busy, and very productive weekend in Mineral City, home to the Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership. This past weekend marked the 5th annual Party In The Park community festival, which is a 2-day event where community members and area organizations take part in a variety of activities. Huff Run has developed a significant role in the festival over the last few years, and now their annual 5K is a prominent feature of the event. This years festival also culmiated with the announcement of the winner of the Huff Run Kayak Raffle, which was sponsored by PSC Metals of Canton, Ohio.

On Saturday morning the air was crisp and clean, perfect for the annual Huff Run 5K. When the runners returned and their times were calculated, 2-time winner Courtney Oliver of Mineral City, Ohio, was once again the winner in the women's bracket with a time of 22:01. John Soehnlen, of East Sparta, was the winner of the men's bracket with a time of 17:25. It was a good race with a great turnout. As a means of encouragement, the first 50 participants were rewarded with eco-friendly tote bags for successfully completing the race.

On Sunday August 15th, more activities were planned for community members of all ages, including a kiddie tractor pull, live music, good food, a cake and pie auction, and Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) tie-dye. Huff Run maintained a large presence throughout the day, assisting with children’s games, and also providing information about the organization and its' projects. Everyone who participated in AMD Tie-dye was very impressed with the dying process, which utilizes precipitated iron from area streams. Over 40 shirts were dyed, and they turned out great. Over 15 volunteers were recruited and helped make the day possible and profitable, with sales of Huff Run waterbottles, drinks, popcorn, and raffle tickets! As the day was drawing to a close, the Kayak Raffle drawing was held. Although not present, Pat Downes was notified and was very happy to pick up her winnings the next day. Downes, a resident of Magnolia, Ohio, won the kayak and is very excited to take up the hobby. Pat became involved with the organization when she ran in the Huff Run 5K a few years ago. The sale of raffle tickets raised approximately $1,200 for the organization. Pat is active in the organization as a member of Thrivant Financial for Lutherans, a financial firm that has a 1/3-match program for eligible non-profits. In part due to Downe’s activities in both organizations, Huff Run was able to receive a 1/3 match of all funds raised during the weekend festivities from Thrivant Financial.

Overall the event was a great opportunity to spread the word about Huff Run's mission and their work in the Mineral City community. Awareness and money were raised, friends were made, races were run, and shirts were dyed. Little by little Huff Run is expanding their legacy by helping to grow community and educating area youth.