CORNING – Wineglass Marathon race directors Sheila Sutton and Mark Landin announced the three local charitable organizations which will receive donations from runners signing up for this year's Wineglass Full and Half Marathons and GlassFest 8K. During the online registration process, runners will have the option to donate to Girls on the Run of the Southern Tier, Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the Wineglass College Scholarships.
Linking local charities to race registration is a common practice in major races. "We started last year with the OneFund for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and had an overwhelming response," said Sutton. "We wanted to continue the support from the runner community this year."
The Southern Tier chapter of Girls on the Run was established in 2012 for girls in 3rd through 8th grades across four counties. The 24-lesson curriculum combines training for a 5K running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem-solving skills and make healthy decisions.
"With women making up 75 percent of our half marathon field and 55 percent of our full marathon field, Girls on the Run was a natural choice for us," Sutton said.
Contributions to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier will fund the BackPack ProgramTM for children in Steuben County. The Food Bank's BackPack ProgramTM provides children who are at risk of hunger with a bag of nutritious, easy-to-prepare food each Friday during the school year. This program helps feed children over weekends and breaks when they do not have access to school meal programs. During the 2012-2013 school year, more than 18,300 packs of food were distributed to 550+ children in Steuben County. Food Bank President & CEO Natasha Thompson said they were delighted to be selected. "This will be the first targeted, ongoing funding stream for this program in Steuben County."
The Wineglass College Scholarships will be established at the Community Foundation with proceeds benefiting one female and one male runner graduating from Corning, Bath-Haverling and Campbell-Savona High Schools – the three high schools along the Wineglass route.
"We have long wanted to find a way to help local runners in their college pursuits," said Landin. "Establishing these scholarships reinforces how important education and achieving life goals is to the Wineglass."
Selection of the three charities was approved by the Wineglass Board of Directors in February. Runners can choose to donate any amount to any or all of the listed charities.
Nearly $50,000 from race proceeds was donated to more than 40 local organizations which helped with planning and execution of the 2013 races. Officials expect those donations to continue in future years.
Wineglass Marathon weekend is Oct. 3-5, 2014, and more than 5,000 runners are expected to run the 5K, full and half marathons. The races draw runners from 40+ states and several foreign countries and have closed out to registrants months before the races for the last two years.