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Over a Thousand Participate in 24th Annual Ho Ho Ho Run

Conor Shelly reprised his Oyster Bay Town Supervisor’s 5K win, Stefanie Braun reprised her Marcum Workplace Challenge win in the Women’s Division and Peter Hawkins completed still another wheelchair win, as beautiful skies and brisk temperatures greeted the competitors in the 24th Annual Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5 Kilometer Run on Dec. 17. A total of 1238 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes navigated the streets of Bethpage before crossing the finish line at the John F. Kennedy Middle School (the record number finishers for this event was 1256 in 2001.)

Highlighting the run from a local standpoint were the awards won by local runners: Shari Klarfeld of Plainview (second woman overall, first woman 30-34 age group), Beth Alizzi of Syosset (third woman, 20-24 age group), Thomas Brouillard of Woodbury (first, 20-24), Bradley Raxenberg of Woodbury (third, 20-24 Age Group), Connie Sehlmeyer of Syosset (third woman, 65-69 age group), Bert Jablon of Syosset (second, 80-84 age group.)

Notwithstanding the great performances of the leading runners, the big emphasis of the day was on families, with lots of mother-daughter, mother-son, father-son and father-daughter duos making their way though the course, and lots of youngsters participating in the free fun run that preceded the main event. Costumes abounded – with a host of reindeer, Santas and assorted elves throughout the course, along with Krispy Kreme donut lady Mary Lambros, and “Naughty and Nice” ladies Fran DeAngelis and Jennifer Lee.

Congratulations and thanks go out to Ric Diveglio of the Greater Long Island Running Club for serving so competently and enthusiastically as the race director once again, to the Melville Intellectual Property Law Firm of Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt (thank you Ray Farrell), the title sponsor once again, and to Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW (thank you John Durso and Charlie Hamilton) for also providing a big financial boost.

A big thank you also goes out to Whole Foods for the bananas, to Kozy Shack for the puddings, and to buddy Glen Wolther of All Round Foods for the cupcakes, muffins and other baked goods.

Thanks to John Snitko of JMS Racing Services for his quick and accurate results and for being so easy to work with, and to Logistics Coordinator Fred von der Heydt and Race Announcer Terry Bisogno for still another outstanding day’s work. The Nassau County Police Department 8th Precinct and the Bethpage Auxiliary Police were extremely supportive as well.

Proceeds from the event will be turned over to The Opening Word, an education program conducted by the Dominican Sisters for poor and uneducated Long Island women to give them the tools they need to become productive members of society. In addition over 1000 toys were collected for the John Thiessen Children’s Foundation

Run director Ric DiVeglio and the running club acknowledged their appreciation of the fact that Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, and Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joe Pinto were on hand to welcome the participants to the finish line.