2013 Laurel Run dedicated in memory of Barney Johnston
This year’s Laurel Run is being dedicated to Barney Johnston. Barney, a longtime Laurel Run volunteer and committee member, passed away last November at the age of 73.
It was Barney who, several years after Laurel Run was created, came up with the idea of adding an event that would spotlight individuals with disabilities. Suggesting the event be called “Laurel’s Lap,” Barney proposed having people with disabilities take a lap around the track that surrounds the ballfield in downtown Silver Creek. The rest of the planning committee agreed it was a great idea, and Laurel’s Lap quickly became the signature event of Laurel Run.
In the ensuing years, Laurel’s Lap has generated some of the most endearing images at Laurel Run, as people with disabilities strive to complete the lap. Most are able to do it alone, but others require support, creating an opportunity for participants in the other Laurel Run events to come onto the track and assist people with disabilities in reaching the finish line.
Barney helped Laurel Run in other ways, donating money and prizes. And, each year he brought John Graham to Silver Creek to sing the national anthem. John, who receives supports from The Resource Center, has become a staple at Laurel Run every year, with his stirring rendition of the national anthem serving to set the mood for the whole day. Most years, John and Barney also would work one of the water stops together, handing water to grateful runners.
Click here to make a donation to Laurel Run in support of Barney.
See one of John’s past performances below: