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Shelter Island’s 10K: People helping people on every level

KiDS NEED M♥RE, the parent organization that hosts CampAdventure at Camp Quinipet each August, provides a week-long respite for kids with cancer and their siblings to just be kids having fun, instead of patients undergoing constant tests and treatments.

Story by Julie Lane

Organizers of the 37th Annual Shelter Island 10K Run – 5K Run/Walk are optimistic about the forecast for tomorrow’s race, with the weather gods on their side.

Last year was the first in the history of the race when the skies opened and it poured rain all day, but that didn’t stop the determined runners, walkers and Islanders who cheered them on.

The race that is a highlight of the summer season here traditionally attracts more than 1,000 participants, and the current forecast for Saturday is sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. A cool enough day and a dry track might produce records by the many elite runners who are coming to town.

At the heart of the event, however are the charities the race benefits. The three main ones this year are the 10K Community Fund, Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch and East End Hospice, with write-ups about them in the 10K Journal that was distributed in last week’s Reporter and can be found in venues around the Island.

But another set of philanthropies are considered by race organizers as “charities within charities.” The race affords these groups an opportunity to contribute to the major beneficiaries through their registration fees, but also to seek pledges for their own worthy causes.

Kids Need More, the parent organization that hosts Camp Adventure at Camp Quinipet each August, provides a week-long respite for kids with cancer and their siblings to just be kids having fun, instead of patients undergoing constant tests and treatments.

Once a program offered under the auspices of the American Cancer Society, when that organization found its budget too tight to continue to support Camp Adventure, a group of determined volunteers opted not to give up, but to find a way to continue its programs.

It’s estimated that it costs about $2,000 per camper for the program to cover expenses related to medical treatments some campers need during that week.

Many staffers — including counselors, nurses and doctors — volunteer their time. But some must be paid. Then, of course, there are the usual expenses connected with feeding the campers and staff and paying for the use of Camp Quinipet.

Kids Need More also organizes reunions and other activities for the Camp Adventure family.

Reach Within
Karen Lawson brought her Reach Within Team to the race in 2013. She and her late husband Bart Lawson were frequent travelers to Grenada and worked to improve the lives of children in that country. Among the projects Mr. Lawson spearheaded were playgrounds and facilities to help the people of Grenada.

The aim of the program is to “improve the quality of life of children and teens who have experienced adversity.” The program focuses on improving health and well-being by teaching life skills and developing a comprehensive approach to caregiver training, Ms. Lawson said.

Since its founding in 2008, the program has lessened occurrences of infectious diseases, enhanced literacy, provided computer equipment and training, promoted agricultural sustainability and provided musical instruments for students.

Individual fund raisers
There are also many individuals who created fund raising pages on the Shelter Island 10K website, aiming to bring as many pledges as possible to the main causes for which the race raises money.

Sammy and Oliver McDonald, for example, have raised close to $4,000 and will be participating in this year’s Fun Walk. They are sending the money to East End Hospice, which “concentrates on care, not cure,” according to their fundraising page.

Cayman and Paige Morehead are participating together for the first time and have raised more than $2,000. “We are so grateful for your help and we are as thankful for $5 as we are for $500,” according to their page.

Shelter Island’s Cross Country Team has raised nearly $1,000. “The sport of running has taught us valuable life lessons: living a healthy lifestyle, teamwork, sportsmanship, the value of hard work, loving what you do and enjoying the people you are with,” the team’s page proclaims.

Liam Adipietro, son of Race Director Mary Ellen and Dr. Frank Adipietro, has raised $500. He did it because the Shelter Island community is special, he said.

Isabelle and Noah Topliff will be running this year and have raised almost $100. They wanted to make an effort to raise money for “some awesome Shelter Island charities.”

Donors are invited to go online and contribute to any of these causes or directly to the Shelter Island 10K at

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