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Jingle Bell Run proceeds ring up more than $6,000

November 16, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

The sound of jingle bells chimed across the grounds of Boonsboro High School on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 13. Though Santa Claus was on hand, he wasn't responsible for the clatter.

Nearly 100 runners, ranging in age from 4 to 67, dashed off with bells tied to their shoes to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation.

Dot Foods Inc. of Williamsport and Boonsboro High School National Honor Society partnered to host the event.

Participants began registering at 7:30 a.m. for their choice of a five-kilometer run or a one-mile fun run. At 9 a.m., it was merry racing. Santa stood by the sidelines, encouraging the runners with cheerful "Ho Ho Hos," and passing out candy as they reached the finish line.

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Dotty Piccolomini, 56, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., is co-adviser of the Boonsboro High School National Honor Society. Piccolomini said the Jingle Bell Run at Boonsboro High School began three years ago as a small service project, and it has grown bigger and better every year.

"This year is just phenomenal," Piccolomini said. "Dot Foods came on as a presenting sponsor and we have people from all over running."

Paul Barr of Williamsport, 58, a warehouse specialist at Dot Foods Inc., said he was a member of the committee that chose to support the Western Maryland chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Barr said the committee was impressed with and wanted to support the work of the foundation in the community. Barr served as timekeeper for the children's one-mile run at the event.

"It was heartwarming to see the little kids involved. It was a heck of a job to get to the finish line, and they pushed hard," Barr said.

Maureen Hall, 39, of LaVale, Md., who placed second in the women's five-kilometer run, said she saw the event as an opportunity to compete and as entertainment for her 4-year-old daughter, Kathryn Hall.

"It was a nice thing to do because I have a little one. She got to see Santa and tell him what she wants," Hall said.

Kathleen Luzier, 36, of Boonsboro, who placed third in the women's 5K, said the race suited her in several ways. She wanted to challenge herself to see how she would measure up against other runners, while supporting the local National Honor Society and raising money for the Arthritis Foundation.

"My mother has arthritis," Luzier said.

Michelle Grimm, 42, of Frederick, Md., executive director of the Arthritis Foundation of Western Maryland, said more than $6,000 was raised from runners' sponsorships along with the Dot Foods Inc. presenting sponsorship.

Grimm said proceeds will be used toward distribution of arthritis-related literature and provision of support groups and aerobic courses for people with arthritis in the Western Maryland region, as well as national research to benefit the more than 70 million people who suffer from arthritis.

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