We’d like to thank everyone for their support and sponsorship of the 2016 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 14-15 in 2017. See you then!

Laurel Run Testimonials

Posted by Chris Anderson - July 13, 2012 - News - 3 Comments
Children's Fun Run

Below we’ve collected some stories from people who’ve been involved over the years in Laurel Run to give you a feeling of the importance and atmosphere of this event. We hope this may inspire you to get involved and become a strong supporter of our cherished fundraiser. If you are inspired, please contact us at info@laurel-run.com for more information. Thank you to everyone who’s supported our efforts over the years! We truly appreciate it.

Eric Mackowiak holds up the sign he made to inspire himself to complete the 5k walk in 2007.

Name: Judy Mackowiak

Role with The Resource Center: Her late son Eric received supports from TRC.

How she helps with Laurel Run: Serves on the Laurel Run Planning Committee

What motivates her to help: “As many of you may know, my son Eric Mackowiak lost his battle with cancer on May 18, 2009.  Many of you may NOT know that Eric’s passion was Laurel Run!  How he looked forward all year long to this event and what color were Laurel Run’s shirts to be!  Unfortunately I did not become involved with Laurel Run until after Eric passed.  Shame on me!  To honor Eric, our whole family and our friends participate each year.  Such camaraderie in downtown Silver Creek – EVERYONE WINS!!!  The Resource Center family along with the Hotellings have created a wonderful day of awareness about disabilities and the potential for each one of God’s Special Children!  I urge you and yours to come to downtown Silver Creek on July 21st for a day that will truly touch your hearts.”


Name: Paulette Barreca

Role with The Resource Center: Her late husband, Leonard, received supports from TRC.  Paulette served on the Board of Directors.

How she helps with Laurel Run: Serves on the Laurel Run Planning Committee

What motivates her to help: “As this year’s Laurel Run approaches, I am remembering some of the races from years ago.  The first time we participated, the weather was rain and gloom, but Len walked the course with his dog without a complaint.  This was an accomplishment, as he was recovering from brain surgery only 10 months before.  I can’t believe how proud he was that day to be able to finish.  From that year on he never missed the run, whether he was walking, riding his bike, or just cheering people on.  When he competed he felt proud, and it made him feel like a part of the community, not just a disabled person.  I am grateful that we are blessed to be able to be involved with The Resource Center and Laurel Run.”


Cindy Willibrandt has used creative outfits to help spur sales of the annual Laurel Run edition of the Observer.

Name: Cindy Willibrandt

Role with The Resource Center: Machine Sewer at Dunkirk Work Center

How she helps with Laurel Run: “I sell the Laurel Run newspapers, in Brocton under the four-way arches.”

What motivates her to help: “The Laurel Run is a wonderful, wonderful cause.  Laurel is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.  And I believe in it.”


Name: Paula Arntz

Role with The Resource Center: Facilities and Production Maintenance Technician at the Dunkirk Work Center

How she helps with Laurel Run: “When I first started working with Laurel Run, I came up with the suggestion of taking pictures of the winners going over the finish line and giving them to them, and it became kind of a standard hit.  On Friday, after the relay race, I set up my sound system at Washington Park and play music and make it a little festive for everybody.”  Paula also does some video recording for TRC.

What motivates her to help: “The runners loved [the pictures], and one [woman], I guess they gave her her picture, and she broke into tears when she saw herself.  [Taking pictures, playing music, video recording] gives me a chance to do my hobby for the company.”


Name: Sue Ann Carlson

Role with The Resource Center: Substitute Secretary and Assembly Worker at the Dunkirk Work Center

How she helps with Laurel Run: “I’ve been associated with Laurel Run for about seven years now.  I volunteer and work one of the tables.  Last year, I worked the registration for the Children’s Fun Run.”

What motivates her to help: “For another thing, I know Laurel personally, and she is a fantastic person.  So are her parents, Wayne and Elaine.  I used to ride the bus with Laurel, when I was riding bus, and she’s just a really sweet, really beautiful person.  And The Resource Center has been a big help to me, and so I feel that it’s just a small way that I can give back.”


Name: Rebecca Hamlet Kapple
Role with The Resource Center: Rehabilitation Services Site Supervisor

How she helps with Laurel Run: Helps with newspaper sales; makes sure things go smoothly with transportation; helps with the kickoff celebration; this year, helping with Children’s Fun Run

What motivates her to help: “Honestly, my family’s always instilled the want to help others in the community.  My grandfather was President of Camp Gross, so we were always giving our time and our energy to help others.  It’s very important to who I am.  I’m a very proud employee of The Resource Center.  I’ve been in the Rehab and Employment Department my entire career.  And so I find that with the Laurel Run support, it’s just absolutely amazing.  Also I went to Silver Creek school, so I’ve known all about the Laurel Run ever since it started, because I had friends who participated in the first run.  I think it’s just an amazing celebration that really brings The Resource Center out into the community to give people a better understanding of who we are and what we do.”

3 comments

  • Hannah Stoll says:

    I had the privilege of walking with Eric Mackowiak in 2007! I will never forget that day…especially the moment when Eric crossed the finish line and hugged Steve Waterson! He worked so hard, training for that race, and he did it! I think I had just as many tears in my eyes then as I do now! That was a big accomplishment for Eric and seeing his determination was really something. We were all so proud of Eric, and I think we always will be!

  • Pam Farnham says:

    Oh, Judy just brought back so many memories of Eric calling out to Wayne Hotelling asking about the shirt color – every single time he saw him for years! We used to talk about what colors had been used, and if there were any others left. I will also always remember Eric’s zeal the year he spent so much time training for the Laurel Run. Laurel has always been happy to share the glory and fun with all of her friends and coworkers!

    • eric's mom says:

      Dear Hannah,

      Thank you so much! You and Eric are on my computer desk – I look at both of your smiles everyday. How I miss him!

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