MIDDLETOWN—The run that Dave and Anna Madden, owners of Something Sweet, started in 2005 has become a major event in the City of Middletown each August.
Mayor Joseph DeStefano said the city will give its official blessing to the event in about a week by giving the park near the popular cafe a name: R4DT Park.
The park will be decorated with the symbol for the event. “That’s in appreciation of all the work Anna and Dave and all you volunteers do,” he said.
DeStefano noted that more than $45,000 in improvements to downtown have been made possible by donations—banners, signs, a bench, new grass in the park area, and a large clock at the park entrance.
In the first year of the race, 130 runners participated. The event has grown to 1,000 who come downtown to run, walk, or enjoy the food and other events. The mayor said this year’s proceeds will go to the installation of a permanent stage in the park.
The Run 4 Downtown
Maria Bruni, director of Community and Economic Development for Middletown, said the Business Improvement District (BID) and the Orange County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Sip and Schmooze event on Aug. 18 for local businesses and restaurants, which will continue every Thursday throughout the rest of the summer.
Manager of the Wallkill ShopRite, Bob Courtney, said his store has been a part of the run for five years. ShopRite will host a pasta dinner on Friday night in the King Street Walkway.
Runner and volunteer Eddie O’Connell was grateful for the support of the community. “Without that involvement, this race doesn’t grow. As you can tell by the sponsors and all the other people that are getting involved, this is getting to be a really, really large event,” he said.
Clemson Bros. Brewery, Warwick Winery, and possibly Equilibrium Brewery will offer adult beverages and the YMCA will have activities for children throughout the area. He said there will be something for the entire family.
Jerry Cammarata, CEO and dean of Student Affairs at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, said his organization was glad to be part of the event with a booth to help runners with osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM).
Kelly Eng, a second-year student at the college, said the local branch of the Student American Academy of Osteopathy will use OMM techniques “to sooth any muscles or ailments that they [runners] may have.”
On a lighter note, the mayor, who is not known to be a small man, said that he will not be running in the race this year to give other runners a chance to win, which got a warm laugh from a very fit O’Connell.
Dave Madden said everyone who lives along the route of the run can participate. “Go outside and watch these people as they run by your house. It’s inspiring to watch these people. Maybe you have a garden hose that you can hook up and spray the runners down as they run on by,” he said.
This year’s Run 4 Downtown will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20, starting at 9 a.m.
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