Corning, NY – With the 30th anniversary Wineglass Marathon 'in the books', the spirit of holiday giving continued this week as the Wineglass Marathon presented donations to four regional organizations.
For the third consecutive year, attendance at the October race has grown exponentially. With a surge in participants comes an increased need for supplies and race support, and community groups have consistently stepped up to lend a hand to the nationally-sought marathon. Among this year's donation recipients are the American Red Cross and the Health Ministry of the Southern Tier, both of whom have assisted with various aspects of the annual event, including medical supplies along with logistical and on-course support for the runners.
American Red Cross Executive Director Brian McConnell is overwhelmed by the generosity of the marathon, noting, "We've served people in tougher situations this year than ever before. The devastation of the flooding depleted our human and material resource; the Wineglass gift comes at a time when we are replenishing our disaster program. I am grateful for the support of the Wineglass Marathon and appreciate the opportunity to serve the families in our community."
Health Ministry of the Southern Tier Executive Director Michael Slovak has seen a similar trend for 2011. In a year where more patients were served than ever before, the need for volunteers, grand and donations is critical to continue providing services for the community.
Slovak stated, "With the exponential growth in people who come through our doors this year, we're extremely appreciative of the support we receive from organizations like the Wineglass Marathon."
For the second year, the marathon also contributed to the Fund F or Women. As one of the many programs of the Community Fund of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, the Fund for Women was established in 2009. The fund has created the first dedicated funding stream to help improve the lives of girls and women in our community. In the 2011 race, more than 50% of the runners were women; in the half marathon, a staggering 75% of the field was made up of women. The marathon has enjoyed a strong partnership with the fund, and as a special recognition of this year's 30th anniversary race, more than a dozen Corning-area businesses contributed 30 cents per meal or transaction during race weekend in a special "30 for 30" promotion.
In addition to the contribution from Wineglass Marathon, area restaurants and businesses raised more than $1,000. Upon receipt of this year's donation, Fund for Women Vice-Chair Penny Gregg stated, "We're grateful to work with the Wineglass Marathon and continue to help so many women in our community."
In addition to shattering attendance records at this year's event, the Wineglass Marathon also welcomed a new field of runners in the first annual half marathon. The 13.1 mile race attracted more than 1,200 participants in its inaugural year, and interest continues to grow. The half marathon, along with the pre-race expo, was hugely supported by the Corning Community YMCA, who donated and staffed its facility entirely for the event weekend, providing a venue for race registration, runner information, parking, and fitness and shower facilities.
Corning Community YMCA CEO Susan O'Leary is committed to the marathon, stating, "The Wineglass Marathon weekend is one of our most important events of the year and our partnership with them is essential to our mission. We use the money from the marathon to support scholarships as no one is turned away from the YMCA for an inability to pay." In 2010, the Y gave more than $146,000 worth of scholarships to people and families in the Corning area.
On the heels of its most successful marathon yet, registration for next year's race has already surpassed 500 participants.
The 31st Annual Wineglass Marathon will be held on Sunday, September 30, 2012. For more information, please visit www.wineglassmarathon.com or find Wineglass Marathon on Facebook.