We’d like to thank everyone for their support and sponsorship of the 2014 Laurel Run! Without your kind contributions none of this would be possible. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! For those already thinking about next year’s event it’s already being planned and will take place July 17-18 in 2015. See you then!

2010 Newspaper Sales

Newspaper Sales

Drivers passing through Dunkirk, Fredonia and Brocton (as well as people stopping at Tim Hortons locations in the Northern Chautauqua area) Thursday morning, July 1, were met by an unusual sight – men and women selling newspapers for charity.

For the fourth straight year, the Observer printed a special “Laurel Run” edition, and volunteers hit the streets (and sidewalks, and parking lots) to sell copies of the paper. The papers cost $1 each, and many people were happy to give more because they knew the money was going to a good cause.

The special edition included Laurel Run photos from previous years, as well as information about this year’s event. One of the main goals of Laurel Run is to increase public awareness about people with disabilities and the fact that they are capable of accomplishing great things if given the opportunity. The special edition of the Observer helps spread the word not only about Laurel Run, but also about the potential that exists inside anyone with a disability.

Of course, another main goal of Laurel Run is to raise money. Laurel Run proceeds go to TRC Foundation to support disability awareness and prevention programs in our community, and to help provide employment and work training opportunities for adults with disabilities. The newspaper sale helps raise a significant amount of money. While the final figures for this year’s sale won’t be known for a few days (we’re still selling papers at some TRC locations), in the past three years the newspaper sales netted more than $5,300.

There are four necessary ingredients to the newspaper sale’s success: the Observer staff that prints the paper; the businesses and communities that permit us to sell the papers; the volunteers; and the people who buy the papers. We are especially grateful to the volunteers, many of who awaken long before dawn in order to get ready to sell the papers.

We’re very fortunate to have help from TRC staff and community volunteers. We deeply appreciate the support of Roberta Coniglio and Karen Makuch, who help round up volunteer sellers. And we give a big shout-out to Greg Krauza. Greg serves on TRC Foundation’s Board of Directors. He has four children who are young adults, and each year Team Krauza and their friends turn out in force to sell papers in Fredonia. This year Greg looked like he was tailgating at a Bills game, as he had set up tables with a variety of refreshments for his young sellers.

We also rely on the support of TRC staff members. A good number of the TRC employees who sell the papers live outside Northern Chautauqua County, so they have to wake up early in the morning to get to the Dunkirk-Fredonia area in time to start selling papers at 6:00. After the sale is done they head to their real jobs at TRC, so it makes for a long day for them.

We also have individuals with disabilities from TRC’s mental health and Work Center programs who come out to sell the papers.

I would suspect the Run is fantastic, but selling papers on the street corners must be pretty fun too. What do you get out of the experience and how it builds up for the Laurel Run?

We have a number of people who sell the papers every year, and they really enjoy it. Veteran seller Amy Pease showed up wearing a tiara. Someone took a photo, which Amy promptly posted on her Facebook page; a short while later, a couple of people who had seen the posting stopped down to buy papers from Amy.

Amy Pease

Here are comments from some of the people who sold papers this year:

Vicky Bardo (TRC’s Special Projects and Events Coordinator, who helps organize the volunteers): “For me, just watching the volunteers really get into the spirit is fun.”

Kerstin Wyman (TRC’s Marketing and Promotions Coordinator): “I think Laurel Run newspaper sales is a great way of creating fun that raises the awareness of individuals with disabilities, but also a way to bring community volunteers and businesses together to support those individuals as well.”

Suzette Smith (TRC’s Finance Manager, who sells newspapers each year and also organizes the Laurel Run motorcycle dice run): “Selling our special addition newspaper is fun! Being out of the office and connecting with the public in an effort to bring awareness not only to our event but to the great services TRC offers, allows me as a “sit in the office all day person” to show others how important TRC is and that I support my workplace and believe in what we do.”

Nancy Ann Battaglia (Mental Health Clinician in TRC’s “Gateways” Continuing Day Treatment Program in Dunkirk. Gateways supports individuals challenged by persistent mental illness. Nancy has helped several people in the program form the Team of Hope, which assists area not-for-profit organizations. For Laurel Run, in addition to selling newspapers, Team of Hope members come to Silver Creek for the main Laurel Run events and help pass out T-shirts at registration, then hand water to the runners and walkers at the finish line): “Our consumers feel a close connection to Laurel. For us, it is a personal mission. Our consumers ask months ahead of time about the newspaper sales and the Laurel Run.”

Althea Maxwell (Habilitation Skills Instructor at TRC’s Dunkirk Work Center. Althea and two individuals from the Work Center Program sell papers each year): “I enjoy the interaction and the joy it brings to see a community with a heart to give to others. It’s also great to see faces you haven’t seen in a while, and there’s always someone looking for a job!” She added that the Work Center participants enjoy selling papers too.

We want to express our gratitude to the Observer for printing the special edition; the volunteers for waking up early and hitting the streets to sell the papers; and the people who buy a Laurel Run edition. While most folks who buy a paper know about the sale ahead of time, some people only find out about it that day – they ask what we’re doing, learn that we’re raising money to support people with disabilities and decide to make a contribution.

We also want to give special thanks to the businesses and communities that allowed us to sell the papers. Dunkirk, Fredonia, Silver Creek and Brocton let us sell papers in their communities. Tim Hortons is huge for us – we’re able to sell at the locations in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Irving, and Gowanda, and we are very successful there. Brooks Hospital, WalMart in Fredonia and Tops in Fredonia also let us sell papers at their locations.

Copies of the paper still are available. If you would like to purchase one, phone 483-2344.