HARTFORD – The Sandy Hook Run for the Families 5K was held Saturday
morning, March 23rd, in Downtown Hartford. A record crowd for a Hartford race
of both participants and spectators gathered in the City for this special
event. Planning for the event began when two women from Naugatuck called
Hartford Marathon Executive Director Beth Shluger and asked if they could get
some help in staging a race to benefit the families of the Newtown shooting.
An idea was born and the number of interested runners started to grow faster
and faster. The location was changed from Western Connecticut State University,
to Danbury, and finally to Hartford, to accommodate the record crowd of
The Salvation Army participated too. There was a running team with Major
Eunice Champlin, Director of Women's Ministries for the Southern New
England Division, Lisa Cretella, Director of Development, and Rachael Bubbs,
Donor Relations Assistant.
The Army also had volunteers manning water stations along the course. The
Salvation Army's Mobile Services Canteen was parked downtown near the
finish line where Captain Brian Thomas was in charge of the North End
volunteers, who served water, hot chocolate, and coffee from the mobile truck.
There was also another larger group of volunteers stationed on Laurel Street
where water was passed out as the runners ran by.
("Development Girls" from Divisional
Headquarters: Donna Priest, Dawn Fleming, and Pam Carignan, taking time out for
Lisa Cretella said, "Much like 9/11, everyone remembers where they
were on December 14th. It was a moment when the world seemed to stop in
unison. What was a Salvation Army Christmas celebration quickly became a very
somber gathering, as news unfolded of what was happening in Newtown. Being a
church, The Salvation Army's Officers and employees stopped to pray for those
whose lives were taken, the survivors, the families, and the Newtown
community. Our prayers and offers of support have continued since that day.
Being a runner, participating in the race personally was a given. However,
as many of my coworkers frequently ask what we can do in support of the Newtown
community, participating on a larger scale was a great way to express our care
and concern. When I put out a call for volunteers to my colleagues, the
response was tremendous, much like what the event organizers have also seen.
While serving water or running a 5K is such a small gesture, it's another way
of showing the residents of Newtown that The Salvation Army cares."
The North End volunteers under Captain Brian Thomas were: Emil Southerland,
Dotty Southerland, Carlton Smith, Jerel, Manny Diaz, Kaheem Freman, Pam
Sanchez, and Grace Westberry.
Elsewhere, the Laural Street volunteers consisted of: Southern New England Divisional Commander Major Dave Champlin, Dawn Fleming, Jim Gordon, Kristen Greeby, Donna Priest, Major Phil Ferreira, Major Susan Ferreira, Mike Wood, Envoy Pat Wood, Pam Carignan, Christina Penafiel, Charlise, Justin, Major Doug Jones, Peter Russell, Beth Russell, Ellie Russell, Natalia Svalestad, Jane Bell, Sharon Bell, Liz Bell, Marianne Bell, Chrystal Bell, Sean Bell, Katie Bender, Kaytlin Childs, and Envoy Phil Hostetler.