CAMDEN, Del. — More than 90 runners took off in torrential downpour at a cool 50 degrees on May 13 at Middletown High School to compete in the 5th annual 5K Milk Run/Walk held by the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation and the New Castle County Farm Bureau. State Sen. David Sokola led the race on his bicycle, as he has every year. There was a great turnout from the Alfred G. Waters FFA and the Everett Meredith Middle School FFA.
While final figures are not yet in, organizers are certain that the goal of raising at least $10,000 to meet the annual needs of The Ministry of Caring’s “Milk For Children Fund” will be met. Net proceeds from the event will go to help MOC’s Emmanuel Dining Room serve a nutritious glass of milk to every child in need who walks through their doors. A secondary beneficiary is The Neighborhood House Inc. in Middletown, a United Way partner agency which helps struggling families get back on their feet.
More than 30 agribusinesses, dairies and farm families provided sponsorship for the race. Major sponsors included Land O’Lakes, Syngenta, New Castle County Farm Bureau, Willey Farms and Hy-Point Dairy.
“After five years I continue to be amazed at the support from the agriculture community for our event — everyone from FFA groups and small dairy farms to large milk processors and everyone in between, they rise to the cause,” said Stewart Ramsey, NCCFB president.
In the past, the race has been staged at the Appoquinimink High School in Middletown, but a new location was necessitated by DelDOT’s Route 301 construction. Middletown High School made their grounds available.
Laura Simpson, DFBF project coordinator, said she liked the new venue because there was more room.
“We appreciate being able to use Middletown High School,” she said. Next year’s venue has not been determined.
“Despite the pouring rain, runners were in great spirits,” Simpson said. “Ninety-four runners finished the race, all within an hour, which I feel was impressive.”
The winner, Rick Short, finished in 20 minutes, 11.2 seconds. Only seconds behind him were Gerardo Rivas, Jay Fenton and Godfrey Thuku. Jonathan Fitch came in less than 22 minutes.
Leaders among female runners were Lissy Haney and Casey Hagy at less than 23 minutes. Missy Lipscomb, Heather Guerrieri and Annika Roberts were third through fifth, respectively, all in less than 26 and a half minutes.
Runners ranged in age from 5 to 67, and included a great turnout from the FFA. Some participants were from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
During the past five years, 800 runners and walkers have participated in the event, raising awareness of the critical need for more milk for less fortunate children in the local community. In the first four years, almost $75,000 has been raised in this effort to buy milk for children in Delaware.
If rain doesn’t dampen the spirits of runners, will mud? The Foundation will sponsor an inaugural “Mad Bull Mud Run” on Aug. 19 at Delaware State Fairgrounds, with plenty of mud and challenging but fun obstacles to overcome. Net proceeds will go to support the Foundation’s mission to build awareness, understanding and positive public perception about Delaware’s farm operations and fresh local food. The Foundation also raises funds to provide educational materials, grants, scholarships and to feed hungry Delawareans.
For information about the mud run or if you wish to be a named sponsor, contact Laura Simpson at the Delaware Farm Bureau at 302-697-3183 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional information on Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation, visit defb.org.
— Delaware Farm Bureau
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