Volunteers key to success of local YMCA Thanksgiving run

Published 9:58 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015

For 34 years the Niles-Buchanan YMCA has successfully hosted an annual Thanksgiving Day Run.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the success of this long standing event, organizers say, is the volunteers that give their time each year.

Elaine Miller, of Allied Solutions LLC, and her husband, Terry, have been volunteering their time to the Thanksgiving Day Run for 25 years.

The couple first started volunteering when their children were 7 and 8 years old.

“At that time, the YMCA was still on Main Street and we filled up popcorn bags and handed them out,” said Elaine.

Since then, their role has evolved into directing traffic and runners. Every year, this couple and some of their family members can be found at the corner of Grant Street and Lincoln Avenue giving their time directing and offering words of encouragement to all the runners.

Currently, with the bridge being under construction, Elaine and her family can be found at the corner of Second Street and Main Street.

“It is something that we do every year,” Elaine said. “We look forward to coming to help out. It is a great race. It is great for the community and great to see the same people running every year. I love encouraging the runners.”

Elaine said she has a true passion for the YMCA.

In addition to volunteering for the run, Elaine spent several years giving her time to the Niles-Buchanan YMCA Board of Directors. Allied Solutions has been a sponsor of the Thanksgiving Day Run for the last eight years.

The Niles-Buchanan YMCA thanked Elaine for her many years of service, saying her work and passion for the community has not gone unnoticed.

The Niles-Buchanan YMCA is looking for people to volunteer during the race to provide direction, encouragement and first aid to runners.

Groups and families are welcomed and encouraged to volunteer. Contact Andre Gresham at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA at agresham@nb-ymca.com or (269) 683-1552 to inquire about volunteer opportunities.

This year’s Thanksgiving Day Run is scheduled for Thursday at the YMCA. It begins at 7:45 a.m. with a 10K run. The event also includes a 5K run/walk and one mile fun run starting at 9:15 a.m.

People can register now online at www.classicrace.com or sign up on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m.

More information is available at nb-ymca.org.