Donation to Blessings in a Backpack

Joshua Roane, left, president of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club, presents a check for $29,000 to Hermine Bernstein, center, program coordinator for Blessings in a Backpack, along with Alex Young, Summer Solstice 8K race director.

Nearly 400 runners, joggers and walkers crossed the finish line for the Frederick Summer Solstice 8K on June 15, and in the process helped provide weekend meals for nearly 300 in-need Frederick County schoolchildren throughout the 2019-2020 school year. The event, hosted by the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club, has raised $79,000 for Blessings in A Backpack in its four-year history

“This year’s event had a great response and ended up having a record turnout by about 100 participants,” race director Alex Young, shared. “Of course, the best part about that is that we’ll get to help nearly 100 more kids than last year through Blessings in a Backpack.”

After taking care of wrapping up the event and finalizing the donation amount, Young recently joined current Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club president Joshua Roane to present the donation check to Blessings in a Backpack program coordinator Hermine Bernstein.

“We’re so grateful that this running event, and running community, have partnered with us for four years now and have helped so many local kids,” Bernstein said.

The trio reconvened at the site of the 2019 Frederick Summer Solstice 8K, the Walkersville Volunteer Fire Department carnival grounds. After hosting the event within the city for its first three years, Young and the race team chose the Walkersville site, which brought many benefits as well as a record draw.

“The carnival grounds made it really easy for us to make the 8K equal parts running event and party,” Young explained. “The afterparty of this race is something that people have come to enjoy just as much as the race. We heard a lot of feedback from participants that the new location was easily accessible, set up well for the live music, and the competitive runners really liked the course itself.”

This year, the race took runners through a flat and fast tour of Walkersville, including Heritage Farm Park. Jesse Henderson won this year’s race in 27 minutes, 43 seconds. The top female finisher was Erin Kelman, with a time of 31 minutes, 24 seconds. The race was the first of the year’s four signature races hosted by the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club.

The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club has been supporting the local Frederick running community since 1975. See www.steeplechasers.org for more information.

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