It is amazing how different one year can be from the next. As some might recall, the 2014 Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run was on the verge of being canceled due to road closures from a rain and ice storm in the days before. Overnight, the temperature rose above 32 degrees, the roads remained open and the run went forward as scheduled. But with the cold and wet weather, runners weren’t in a “hang around to chat” mood at the finish line.
Fast forward to 2015—the 40th annual Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run. It would be difficult to ask Mother Nature for a more perfect morning for the 2,800-plus runners descending on the quiet Village of Manorhaven for the five-mile run. Thanksgiving Day has become the most popular running day of the year. For those in Port, it’s a chance to connect with family and friends, get in a good workout before the big feast and perhaps set a personal best. But the fantastic popularity of this race with Port’s residents stems in part from the fact that the run is a charity foot race whose proceeds benefit their neighbors in need through the Community Chest of Port Washington.
The Community Chest manages the race, but it’s the runners, sponsors and staff who make it truly one of a kind. From the Dejana pie raffle to the Tweezerman beauty draw; from the Our Lady of Fatima food pantry drop off to the sponsors who donated complimentary race entries to those in need; from the 45 Schreiber Key Club volunteers; to the legions of Port Washington community members who helped out, we at the Community Chest are grateful.
While some logistics repeat every year, the effort of so many volunteers never ceases to amaze us. So for all of you who gave of yourselves to help, we thank you. Special thanks to David Katz, our technical director, who, as our resident perfectionist, makes sure that the race runs oh-so-smoothly and to Richard Maxted, the man of many hats, who, as our logistics coordinator, does everything we ask and more.
The sponsors of the event—30-plus local businesses—make the Thanksgiving Day Run a financial success. Their generosity enables the Community Chest to continue its mission to help our neighbors in need—more than 7,500 people in 2015 through grants to 26 local programs and organizations. We ask that you support the businesses that support Port. Check out the back of the T-shirt for sponsors.
In an uncertain world, we in Port Washington are certain of one thing—neighbors care about each other and for each other. The residents of Port have been helping the Community Chest make services available for over 65 years. Let’s see how much more we can do in the next 65. Thank you so very much.
—Jeanne Rizzo, Julie Meer Harnick
Community Chest staff