Last year, a group of friends decided to start a fall race at Great Hollow Lake to raise funds for Project Warmth, a town energy assistance program for Monroe households in need. Kerri Swift remembers seeking advice from Paul Moyse, a chiropractor in town and longtime organizer of the Sprint for Monroe.
"He said, 'The first year you’ll be lucky just to break even,'" Swift recalled. "We had 180 runners signed. It was a beautiful day. One of those picture perfect fall mornings. One hundred and twenty more people signed up on the day of the race and we were able to raise $5,000 for Project Warmth."
“We ran out of food,” she added. “We just didn’t anticipate that much.” Swift attributes the success to the weather, volunteers and generous sponsors.
The friends who formed the group, Monroe Trailblazers, to organized the race/walk got to know each other when their children attended Gingerbread Schoolhouse, a preschool in town. Lori and Andy Pfau came up with the idea and were joined by Kerri and Dave Swift, Amy and Matt Briand and Lisa and Allen Jelliffe.
This year's Monroe Staffing Services/Edgerton, Inc. Four Mile Trail Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 9 a.m. Swift said Monroe Trailblazers hopes to raise as much, if not more, funding for Project Warmth than last year.
"It’s a run for warmth," Swift said. "I just don’t think we realize how many people are in need of assistance. This is a chance to give back to our community and our own residents."
The race and walk starts at the soccer field of Great Hollow Lake, goes around the lake, down a path almost to the Cutlers Farm Road end of Rails to Trails before heading back to the soccer field and ending at the Grove at Great Hollow Lake.
"There are not many four-mile trail runs and it’s a great walk," Swift said. "This is a great event for individuals, families, runners and walkers of all ages."
Race volunteers have distributed a batch of registration folders up and down routes 111 and 25 and the event has also benefited from generous sponsors, including the Dunkin Donuts at 447 Monroe Turnpike which will donate 250 doughnuts on race day just as it did last year, according to Swift.
Swift said event
organizers realize how difficult it is for local businesses to donate in the
fall after giving to so many causes throughout the year. Because of this, the
Monroe Trailblazers appreciates any help it can get.
Those wishing to be sponsors and to donate raffle prizes should email Kerri Swift at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lori Pfau at email@example.com. People may register to participate in the race/walk online at hitekracing.com. There is also information on the event’s Facebook page.
The title sponsors to date include are Monroe Staffing Services and Edgerton, Inc. Other sponsors include Eye On Monroe, Jensen Tire, Auto & Marine; Janney Montgomery, Scott, LLC; J. Videira Paving, LLC; Monroe Town & Country Veterinary Hospital; John Rodrigues Insurance Associates; Dominion Group Real Estate Appraisal Services; Church Hill Classics; Jacozzi Plumbing, Heating & Cooling; Monroe Parks & Rec; Dunkin Donuts; Bella Rosa Restaurant; Willington Nameplate; Mason's Farm Stand; Hirsch Law, LLC; Matt & Louie's Barbershop; Dr. John Flores; Manny's The Place to Get a Haircut; Koritko Insurance — Darren Dyson; Salon 25; Image One Printing & Graphics, Inc. and Walgreens.