CHURCHTOWN — The Claverack Free Library and the Philmont Public Library organized the fifth annual Book It! 5K Run raising funds for the libraries Sunday. Runners started and finished at the Churchtown firehouse.
Around 100 runners and walkers participated in the event and costumed participants received a special dog tag, Claverack Free Library Director Thea Schoep said. This was the first year the run featured some of the participants dressing up as their favorite fictional characters.
“They’ll have their own medals,” Schoep said of the costumed participants. “It’s a fun run.”
Schoep was inspired to have a 5K fundraiser after she ran in local 5Ks and noticed many of the runners were library patrons, she said.
“I thought, ‘Wow, we have a lot of people interested in that, so let’s explore doing that,’” she said. “I contacted Philmont Library and we’ve worked together ever since.”
The inaugural run was held in Philmont, but subsequent ones have been at the Churchtown firehouse because the Philmont location had logistic issues, Schoep said.
“It was a one-way event, where they [participants] were bused to the start line and ran to the finish line,” she said. “Churchtown has been doing it for the last four years and they have been such a great support of the library and the event.”
Around $3,000 has been raised during previous runs, with each library receiving $1,500, Schoep noted. The money goes towards the libraries’ operating costs and programs for teenagers and young people.
“Both Philmont and Claverack libraries offer some really great programs,” Schoep said. “That money goes a long way to helping with that.”
The Claverack Library will be moving into the former A.B. Shaw firehouse next to the existing library at 629 Route 23B, which is expected to open in a year and a half, Schoep said. The existing space no longer meets the needs of patrons and the library has a fund dedicated to fund construction of the new building, according to the Claverack Free Library website.
The libraries offer several services such as museum passes and the ability to borrow e-books and audiobooks online where residents don’t have to come into the library, Schoep pointed out.
“I think it’s eye opening for people to see what libraries are offering,” she said. “I encourage people to visit their local libraries and see what’s there.”
Funding comes from many different sources for the library, but community involvement is crucial, Philmont Library Director Tobi Farley said.
“This gets the community involved in supporting the library,” Farley said.
Many of the participants are library patrons, but one participant ran in dedication of her infant son, who died in December, Farley said, adding the gesture was touching.
“He had spent his life in the hospital and the only way she was able to have any contact with him was reading books to him,” Farley said.
It was the first time Nicole Van Hoesen, of Germantown, participated in the run. Van Hoesen was happy to have pleasant weather and appreciates it’s a community event.
“It’s not too hot, it’s not pouring,” Van Hoesen said. “We’re just running for fun.”
Mark Halpin, of Ghent, participated in the run with his son Benjamin and were both confident they could make it. Halpin’s other son volunteered for the 5K.
“We’re here to support the library,” Halpin said. “We’ve done other local runs before, but not this one.”
Sarah Krenicki, of Philmont, passes the Philmont Public Library when she runs and found out about the 5K while out running.
“I was running past the sign [advertising the 5K] and thought I might as well run in the 5K,” Krenicki said.
It was Krenicki’s first time participating, but she frequents the Philmont Library.
“I like libraries,” she said. “I always take out more books than I can feasibly read.”
To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.