Tag Archives: The Joggers Club

Roundup: State Of The Town, Cheesecake, Bagels …

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We have the State of the Union speech, and the clumsily named State of the State speech.

But what about Westport?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein address the “State of the Town” on Sunday, February 6 (2 p.m., Westport Library).

The pair will review accomplishments during the past year, and preview some upcoming initiatives. A question and answer session will follow, led by RTM moderator Jeffrey Wieser.

Questions may be emailed before and during the State of the Town to WestportSOTT@gmail.com.

The event will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, and broadcast on public access channels 79 (Optimum) and 6020 (Frontier). Click here to register for in-person attendance or a Zoom link. The event is co-sponsored by Westport Sunrise Rotary and the Westport Rotary Club.

 

What’s the state of our town? Find out on February 6. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist — and 1991 Staples High School graduate — Lynsey Addario spent nearly 3 years photographing Marieke Vervoort as she prepared to die. The Belgian woman — a Paralympics gold medalist as a wheelchair sprinter — suffered from a painful degenerative muscular disease.

Under Belgian law, she chose to end her life. Addario’s 2019 New York Times story was raw, intimate and powerful. She also wrote about what the reporting and photography of that story meant to her, personally.

Yesterday, the Times released a podcast of that story. Addario revisits that story, and all its emotions, in a riveting episode. Click here to access it. (Hat tip: John Hartwell)

In her final hours, Marieke Vervoort embraces her parents. (Photo/ copyright Lynsey Addario for New York Times)

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The Joggers Club Jr. is back for a 2nd season of fun.

Youngsters in kindergarten through 8th grade can train with accomplished athletes, including speed and strength coaches.

It “runs” (ho ho) Sundays (2 to 3:15 p.m.), from April 3 to May 22, at the Staples High School track. The cost is $49 for Joggers Club members, $99 for non-members.

The camp is open to only 35 runners, and sold out last year. To join, Venmo @TheJoggersClub.ct.

Registration opens this Sunday (January 30, 6 a.m.). Click here, then complete the waiver under the “Members” section. Once that is complete, email the name and age of the registration to TheJoggersClub@gmail.com. Confirmation will be sent within a day.

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Speaking of jogging: It’s a good way to work off any extra pounds from The Cheesecake Collection.

Westporter Anthoula Pantzos now makes beautiful, custom — and superb — cheesecakes. She grew up around the desserts — including at her family’s Greek restaurant in Stamford — and her husband (a chef) makes them too.

They come in Classic, Trendy and Seasonal varieties. Customers can also build their own. Pantzos offers 8-inch and 10-inch cheesecakes, plus mini-cakes, cheesecake bars, and special items for Valentine’s Day. Click here for the website.

Pick-up is available with 2 days’ notice. Free delivery is available on Saturdays, within a 10-mile radius of Westport.

Click here for the full story on CTBites. (Hat tip: Christine Meiers Schatz)

Anthoula Pantzos, with one of her cheesecakes. (PHoto courtesy of CTBites.com)

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Speaking of food: A Westport bagel maker has made the New York Post‘s list of “the most sought-after pastries at NYC’s best bakeries.” The paper says:

“Putting it bluntly, New Yorkers are begging for these bagels. Popup Bagels, a subscription-based bakery with roots in Westport, Connecticut, won the vaunted title of best bagel at the Brooklyn BagelFest last October.

“Owner Adam Goldberg, 47, told The Post that his bagels’ ‘fun collaborations and freshness’ make them real winners. His recent ‘awesome flavors’ range from dill pickle and caramelized onion to Utz Cheese Ball powder and Mike’s Hot Honey.”

Adam Goldberg with his Brooklyn Bagelfest award.

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As of this week, the FCIAC is allowing non-parent fans back into winter high school sports events.

The Staples gym was packed last night, for the first time in 2 years. Students from the home team and Wilton were equally raucous in support of their squad, 2 of the top in the league. The Warriors prevailed 50-47 in overtime.

The 2021-22 Staples High School boys basketball team.

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The link provided by AAPI Westport for the February 5 Lunar New Year celebration (Westport Weston Family YMCA, 1 p.m.) was broken. Registration is requested, but not required. Click here for the correct link.

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Dale Eyerly Colson — a Westport resident for over 60 years, and a 1963 Staples High School graduate — died last week in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She was 76.

While studying sociology and economics at Salem College in Winston-Salem, she met West Point Cadet Robert Colson on a blind date before the Army-Navy football game. In June of 1967, they both graduated college and were married — all in the same week.

During 54 years of marriage they lived in 7 states, courtesy of the US Army. They were apart only while Robert served in Vietnam.

When he left the Army in 1976 they returned to Connecticut. Dale joined Travelstar, a full-service travel agency started by her mother. She was influential in the industry. She wrote “View from the Bilge,” a humorous column that ran regularly in a travel industry trade publication, and started the Cruise Compendium, which offered training to travel agents who hoped to specialize in cruises.

When her mother retired, Dale took over Travelstar and led the agency to a national award.

After closing the agency in 2003, she worked for 10 years with Tauck World Discovery as a proofreader and fact checker. Her work in the travel industry was matched by her love of travel itself. She visited relatives in England and Scotland, and traveled to 5 continents.

In 2013, Dale and Robert moved to Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. Their home became known as the “house on the edge of the deep, dark woods.” Friends on social media read frequent accounts of her adventures there.

She was active in her community, editing the newsletter for Women of Fearrington, volunteering in elementary schools in Chapel Hill and Chatham County, and singing first alto with the Fearrington Village Singers.

Dale is survived by Robert; daughter Amanda (David) of Chapel Hill; granddaughters Claire of Berlin, Germany and Lucy of Chapel Hill; sister Beth van Dijk of Little Britain, Ontario, and many nieces and nephews.

Because she made an anatomical gift to Duke Medical School, no funeral arrangements are planned. Those wishing to honor her life may make donations to the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation in Siler City, NC or CORA Food Bank in Pittsboro, NC, 2 organizations she supported.

Dale Eyerly Colson

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Okay — so the Compo Beach jetty doesn’t qualify as “natural,” for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

But the dusting of snow yesterday, and the waves lapping up against it, sure do.

(Photo/Betsy Amitin)

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And finally … on this date in 1858, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” ws played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter (also named Victoria), and Friedrich of Prussia. It’s still heard 164 years later, at nearly every wedding, everywhere.

Roundup: Masks, Ben McFall, Skating Rink …

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As COVID cases soar in Westport, a concerned “06880” reader writes:

“Our positivity rate is through the roof. The statistics as of Wednesday were near 18%. When other variants were circulating, an indoor mask mandate was in place.

“Currently there is no mask mandate, except government or municipal buildings. I cannot comprehend why there is no mandate reinstated for all indoor spaces in Westport.

“Masks have proven to work in preventing the spread of COVID. As we are all aware, the Omicron variant is extremely contagious. Westport residents, as well as people who work here, would be much safer with a mask mandate in place.

“Not having everyone wear masks indoors puts all of us in danger, especially the older and immuno-compromised populations.

“This has nothing to do with politics or the economy; it has to do solely with health. Whether people agree or not, it is honestly not much of an inconvenience to mask while indoors in order to protect people.

“Let’s keep everyone safe. Let’s reinstate a mask mandate.”

Masks did not detract from Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert earlier this month.. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Yesterday’s New York Times carried a fascinating obituary of Ben McFall. It calls him “the longest-tenured bookseller in the history of the Strand, New York’s renowned bookstore, who for decades peered above his spectacles at a line of acolytes, tourists and young colleagues for whom he incarnated the store’s erudite but easygoing spirit.” He died last week at his home in Jersey City. He was 73, and suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.

The story notes that after graduating from Olivet College with a degree in French and music in 1971, he moved with college friends to Connecticut — and worked at the Remarkable Book Shop in Westport.

“A co-worker told Mr. McFall she could see him at the Strand,” the Times says. “He had never heard of the place, but in 1978 he arrived in New York and interviewed for a job.” He was hired on the spot.

Click here for the full obituary. (Hat tips: Tom Prince, Jackie Kaplan, Adam Stolpen, Mark Lassoff and Fred Cantor)

Ben McFall (Photo/Julie Glassberg for the New York Times)

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The Longshore skating rink is sponsored by Westport PAL. That stands, of course, for “Police Athletic League.”

To promote this year’s season, the Police Department took this image:

It’s a great one. And we’re not the only ones who think so.

It’s now the Photo of the Week on Police1.com — the go-to site for national police news.

Like the rink itself, that’s very, very cool.

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If you’re like 90% of Westporters*, your New Year’s resolution is: “Get fit” (or “fitter”).

Why wait?**

The Joggers Club starts 2022 on the right foot (ho ho), with their annual 3.5-mile run (Saturday, January 1, 8 a.m., Compo Beach).

But wait! There’s more! Cool off with a Polar Plunge at 10.

For a $50 annual fee, you’ll get access to exclusive parties, 41 group runs, post-run coffee and treats, a Brooks running shirt ($35 value!), a ton of fun — and you’ll get in great shape.

Click here, or check out Instagram (@TheJoggersClub).

PS: Save the date: Joggers Club Jr. (ages 5 to 13) returns April 3. Six weeks of 75-minute coached sessions, for just $99.

*The other 10%? See below.

**Because then you won’t do it.

This could be you! (Photo/Armelle Pouriche-Daniels)

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Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to find inner peace.

Pause + Purpose is ready. A new studio on 21 Jesup Road — right near Westport Book Shop — they offer drop-in meditation weekdays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). They also plan to launch mindfulness gatherings soon.

Founder Emily Vartanian-Tuttle says: “The world is especially stressful right now, and our collective mental health and wellness is suffering. We have built a positive communal space for meditation and discussion in the heart of Westport.

“Scientists are beginning to understand that meditation is essential to a healthy mental landscape, and there is no better way to dedicate yourself to a practice than with the backing of a whole community behind you. We offer meditation modalities and group support, backed by science to improve mental, social, and emotional wellbeing.

“Our professional staff includes psychologists, counselors, nutritionists, and the like, addressing issues such as postpartum depression, social anxiety, dietary challenges, and mourning, among others.

“Drop in for a self-led practice or join one of our high-quality children and adult mindfulness gatherings, where a seasoned meditation teacher will lead you and a group in meditation and discussion.” Click here to learn more.

The soothing interior of Pause + Purpose.

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Jolantha — Weston’s most famous (or at least most visible) sculpture — greets the New Year:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Our final “Westport … Naturally” photo of 2021 shows one of our town’s most popular (and most photographed) scenes: Grace Salmon Park.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

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And finally … good riddance, 2021!

There was not a lot to laugh at this year. But try this:

 

Roundup: Downtown Trees, Staples Girls Soccer State Champs, Joggers Club …

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Downtown is all about holiday shopping.

But it’s about helping others too.

This season, the Westport Downtown Association will install a dozen beautiful, colorful trees throughout the area.

Each will be decorated by professional designers. Each will also be themed to a different local non-profit.

The organizations include Filling in the Blanks, Wakeman Town Farm, Westport Young Woman’s League, Westport Fire Department, Homes with Hope, Christ & Holy Trinity Church, Aware, CLASP Homes, Westport PAL, Westport Bookstore, and MoCA Westport.

The WDA asks residents to help fund trees, lights and decorations. Click here to donate via GoFundMe.

PS: Dartmouth College’s Brovertones will sing on Sunday, December 5 (6:30 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church courtyard).

A downtown Christmas tree (last year).

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Staples’ girls soccer team has done it again!

Two weeks after winning the FCIAC championship, they earned a co-state championship. The Wreckers and Wilton battled through 80 minutes of excellent soccer, and 30 more of overtime, before both were declared Connecticut LL (extra large schools) winners.

The defensive battle was a worthy final, between teams that knew each other well. Staples shut out the Warriors 1-0 for the league crown, after beating them by the same score in the regular season.

Congratulations to coach Barry Beattie and his staff, and a wonderful group of talented, tenacious athletes!

Staples celebrates after last week’s state semifinal win. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Staples is not coach Barry Beattie’s only championship team this fall. His Westport Soccer Association U-15 Blue squad also tied for their league title. Congratulations (again) to him, and of course to his players!

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Speaking (still) of sports: The Joggers Club hosts its first-ever Turkey Burn on Saturday (November 27, 8 a.m., Compo Beach).

On tap: 5K, 10K and 15K runs, along with hot coffee, treats, and finish line music. “Celebrate the holidays with your most festive running outfit,” they say.

Regular Compo Beach runs are Saturdays at 8 a.m., and Wednesday nights at the Staples High School track (6:15 p.m.).

Click here for more information, or follow on Instagram: @TheJoggersClub.ct.

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Staples Players is back!

“Grease” — their first full mainstage musical since the pandemic — played to 2 weeks of sold-out audiences. Choreography, music, sets, lighting — all were up to the award-winning high school troupe’s always high standards.

Congratulations to directors David Roth and Kerry Long, the cast and crew. Stay tuned for news about the spring show!

Ryan Porio leads a show-stopping “Greased Lightning.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

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Greens Farms is filled with “Westport … Naturally” photo opportunities. Here’s Ron Henkin’s submission.

(Photo/Ron Henkin)

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And finally … we have a two-fer for today in history. On this date in 1877, Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph …

… while — somewhat related — on this day in 1959, disc jockey Alan Freed  — who helped popularize the term “rock ‘n’ roll” — was fired from WABC radio in New York. He was alleged to have been part of the payola scandal.

 

Roundup: Beach Dogs, Tyler Hicks, Clothing Swap …

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Friday is October 1. Which means that Fido — and all his 4-legged friends — will once again be allowed at Compo Beach.

For the next 6 months, they can enjoy the off-leash area (south of the pavilion, including South Beach), and the leashed area north of that. They’re prohibited from the pavilion, playground and walkways.

It goes without saying, but Parks & Rec says it anyway: Pick up all poop.

Violations will cost you $77.

Looking forward to Friday.

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Tyler Hicks is an internationally known New York Times photographer. Fittingly, he just won (another) international prize.

The Staples High School Class of 1988 graduate (and 2-time Pulitzer Prize winner) captured the 2021 Visa d’Or Award for Best Digital News Story. He won for his COVID coverage on the Amazon River.

Hicks spent over a month last summer traveling on a riverboat with health workers, entering villages where the dead were uncountable.

The Visa d’Or international news photography awards are presented in Perpignan, France, after a series of jury reviews.

This is Hicks’ second Visa d’Or News Award. He won in 2014 for his coverage of the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here to see his prize-winning Brazil photos.

COVID in the Amazon (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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The Westport Library’s Fall Book Sale returns — live and in person — Friday, October 8 through Monday, October 11.

Thousands of “gently used books” include dozens of categories. A few examples: children’s, literature and classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, art, photography, history, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language and antiquarian.  Tons of DVDs, CDs and vinyl records will be available too.

Everything Sunday (October 10) is half-price. On Monday (October 11), you can fill a bag for just $5.

Early bird admission on Friday (October 8, 8 a.m.) is through a pre-paid $15 ticket. It’s sold online only; click here. For more information about the Book Sale itself, click here. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

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“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” was a 1962 film. The Joggers Club is anything but lonely.

It’s a great way to get outside, get exercise, meet people and have fun.

Need a push? This Saturday (October 2), the Joggers Club hosts a free “Welcome to Running” party.

Runners of all levels are invited to Compo Beach. The run begins at 8 a.m.; the party follows at 9 a.m.

Click here for more information, or follow on Instagram: @thejoggersclub.ct.

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After your jog, check out WestportMoms’ first-ever Fall Family Fun Festival (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy).

The $20 per family ticket price includes music, sports, a ninja course, pumpkin decorating, crafts, tattoos, food trucks and more. Run on over!

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After that, you can cruise over to the Westport Police Benevolent Association’s 3rd annual Car Cruise (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Westport train station Lot #1.

Cars of all years, makes and models are welcome. The fee to enter and display a car is $20. The first 100 cars to arrive will receive a gift bag.

The family-friendly event includes music, food, trophies and raffles.

Westport PBA car cruise.

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Carly Novick Ridloff’s 1st “Sip, Shop, Swap” clothing exchange was a hit.

So she’s doing it again. The socially conscious (and very social) way to get rid of (and find) gently used clothes takes place October 28 (12 to 4 p.m., 82 Roseville Road).

A portion of the proceeds goes to Sustainable Westport. For more information, email carlyridloff18@gmail.com or search on social media: @the.exchangeproject.

Come to the clothing exchange!

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There’s something for everyone at this Sunday’s “Smart Walk for Smart Kids with LD” (October 3, 12 p.m., Sherwood Island State Park).

In addition to crafts, games, ice cream, music and tai chi, Piglet — the blind, deaf, pink dog with the positive attitude — will make an appearance. And Stephanie Bass will sign copies of her book of pandemic signs, Driveway Showcase.

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Last week’s “Unsung Heroes” honored Rosie and Lou, 2 post office employees who always go above and beyond.

We should also note E.J Butner III. The long-time Westport USPS employee retires this week, after many years of loyal service

His family has a long postal history. His grandfather, Edward J. Butner, served as postmaster at the previous Post Road location (now Design Within Reach). (Hat tip: Pam Jones)

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Child’s Pose Yoga helps youngsters connect their bodies, minds and health. To help, they’re partnering with “mindful expert” Denise Zack on a workshop: “Setting Your Child up for Success with Mindful Skills.”

The goal is to help children develop emotional resilience. Parents will learn specific, useful strategies.

It’s October 8 (10 a.m., 8 Church Street South).

Tickets are $40 each. Registration is required; DM @childsposewestport.

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Meanwhile, look what crawled up Molly Alger’s window the other day. It posed long enough to be our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … on this day in 1836, Thomas Crapper was born. The English plumber held 9 patents, including the ballcock, leading to the invention of modern plumbing. [Insert your own juvenile joke here.]

 

 

Roundup: Henri … And More

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While Westporters frantically prepared for Hurricane Henri yesterday — stocking up on water and batteries, pumping gas and creating huge traffic messes from the Post Road to (inexplicably) Cross Highway and Easton Road — a rainbow appeared over Compo Beach.

(Photo/Allen Bemus)

Hopefully it was a good omen. Henri — downgraded now to a tropical storm, but still dangerous — veered sharply eastward. It now appears headed for landfall in Rhode Island. Our fingers are crossed for our many Ocean State friends.

Heavy rains could still head our way. Winds might not be as high as originally thought. But they may be.

And storm surges — especially around high tide at noon, during a full moon — could be dangerous.

We’re not yet out of the woods. But it appears the woods may not contain as many toppled trees as we feared when we went to bed last night.

The current track of Henri, as of 7:45 a.m. today.

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Local to Market — the new Main Street shop across from Cold Fusion, offering food, drink and craft items — takes its “local” mandate seriously.

Founder Chris Marcocci is surveying Westporters, to learn which items they’d like him to carry. They’re ordering inventory, in hopes of opening the full store within the next 2 weeks, and don’t want to miss anything.

Click here for the survey.

Recent offerings, at the Local to Market patio.

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The Joggers Club’s 41 weeks of running with friends begins Saturday, September 11 (8 a.m., Greens Farms train station).

There are new routes every week, hot coffee and post-run treats. The club also offers training runs, pace group, free races, and custom running shirts.

The fee is $50 for the entire season. Venmo @TheJoggersClub. Click here for more information.

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Amid yesterday’s fevered hurricane preparations, June Rose Whittaker captured this serene Saugatuck River sight — “two benches, two birds” — for “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … a search for songs with “Henri” in the title came up empty. But I did find “Henri’s Boogie”.

Pianist Henri John Pierre Herbert gave an impromptu performance at London’s St Pancras station, on a public piano:

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Run For Boston This Saturday

A grassroots group invites everyone — runners, walkers, bikers, spectators — to a community run/walk this Saturday (April 20, 8 a.m.) at Compo Beach.

58cef16198d863f0f0450efc44cf3370The event — organized by the Joggers Club — is a response to Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing.

Donations will be collected for the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed after hugging his father at the finish line, and his 7-year-old sister Jane, who lost her leg; 27-year-old Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs as he waited for his girlfriend to finish, and the Boston Marathon team and first responders.

After a few words in memory of those killed and maimed in Boston, the run/walk will begin. The route loops around Green’s Farms Road.

Great Cakes is sponsoring the event.