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Mineola Resident Runs For Sister

Mineola resident Liz Holzknecht will take part in the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon in Boston to raise funds and awareness for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck on June 8. Holzknecht will be running in her third half-marathon since she took up running last year as part of a New Year’s Resolution.

Holzknecht will run in honor of her late sister, Kate, who attended the camp. Kate’s 24th birthday would have been on June 9—the day after the race. Kate suffered from many disabilities, including not being able to verbalize with others.

Despite her disabilities, Kate always managed to show her love for the camp and its staff.

“She would come home exhausted, but you knew she had a good time and enjoyed herself. Few people actually understood Kate; however, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck’s staff and volunteers were some of the people that did,” said Holzknecht.

After trying out many special-needs programs for Kate, her parents were determined to find a place for their daughter to engage with others and feel content. Liz’s parents learned about Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck through Kate’s neurologist, with whom they spent a lot of time over the years.

“We are thrilled that Liz has decided to help us raise funds and awareness for the camp through her participation in the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon,” says Bridget Costello, executive director of Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck. “Kate was a camper who was very dear to our hearts and we miss her every single day.”

The doctor recommended the camp because its programs would help provide Kate with the type of interactive activities that she longed for. For eight years, she attended the camp’s respite weekends and summer sessions.

When Kate passed away last September, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck had a memorial ceremony by releasing balloons in her memory. In addition, the Moriches Paquatuck Squaws hosted its first-ever Spring Fling Joy Prom at the camp in remembrance of Kate.

“Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck helped my sister tremendously—I can’t thank them enough,” Holzknecht said.

“That’s why this race will be fully dedicated to the camp and my sister.”

Holzknecht has also established a website where the public can donate to the camp in Kate’s name. She surpassed her fundraising goal of $1,000. Donations are still being accepted at www.crowdrise.com/runningforkate