WILLIAMSTOWN -- Organizers say this year's Williamstown Community Chest Fun Run will be bigger and better than ever.
The 1-mile walk and 5k run, now in its sixth year, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14.
"After the run, we're planning to have some food and games," Community Chest Executive Director Anne Singleton said. "That's an addition this year. Folks who may not want to walk or run may still want to come down and see their neighbors and enjoy the beautiful weather."
Organizers are also looking into implementing a "run with a buddy" program, the brainchild of two Mount Greylock Regional High School staff members -- Athletic Director Lindsey von Holtz and cross country coach Larry Bell.
"We would have a high school athlete run with a younger child, to shadow them," board member Bernadette Archibald explained.
Board President Michael Goodwin said the Community Chest was established in 1927, and raises funds throughout the year to support 15 nonprofit member agencies in Northern Berkshire.
"The Fun Run is just one of many events we put through not just to raise funds, but to bring the community together and remind people we need to help each other out," he said.
The agencies include the Northern Berkshire chapter of the American Red Cross, Elder Services of Berkshire County, the Elizabeth Freeman Center and the Northern Berkshire Com munity Coalition.
Goodwin said last year's event was the first year the organization welcomed sponsors. About a dozen local businesses sponsored last year's race, he said, and raised about $2,000.
Sponsors are still needed for this year's event, he said, and a sponsorship over $100 will earn a local business a spot on the event's t-shirt.
"The idea is the runners cover the cost of the event, and the sponsorships go right to the Community Chest membership agencies," he said.
Singleton said previous year's events drew several dozen volunteers to help with the event. Volunteers are still needed to guide attendees in the right direction, she said.
"One year, someone almost ran to Pownal because they didn't realize they were supposed to turn," she said.
The cost will be $15 per individual or walking family, and $5 for students and seniors.
Participants can print a registration form from the organization's website, Singleton said, and mail it in or bring it the day of the event. An online registration form will be on the website soon, she said.
"I'm always amazed at how dedicated groups are to their work and how efficient they do it," Singleton said. "None of them have a lot of money for extras, but they use what they have to do wonderful work."
For more information and about the Williamstown Community Chest or to register for the Fun Run, visit www.williamstowncommunitychest.org or call 413-458-2443.
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