Fun Run raises $60K for VNA Respite House

On Saturday, May 5, runners, walkers and bikers were off to the races to not only cross the finish line, but also to help raise approximately $60,000 for the McClure Miller VNA Respite House through its annual 5K Fun Run and Walk.

The 28th annual event, formerly the Jiggety Jog, attracted over 200 participants and 35 volunteers to Malletts Bay School in Colchester.

“Each year, we gather to celebrate and honor lives lived at the Respite House,” administrator Sharon Keegan said. Many fun-runners wore stickers displaying names of those they were participating in memory of.

Colchester resident Heather Rylant topped the charts as this year’s No. 1 individual fundraiser, bringing in $1,800. Fifteen-year participant Susan Brodeur of Milton notched second place with $1,420. Brodeur, whose parents both called the Respite House home during their last days, sported large pins with pictures of her mom and dad.

On the team side, Situ’s Super Stars came out on top, raising $4,066. Team Hewitt followed with $2,970.

Colchester’s Dylan Roberge, 17, was the top finisher, braking the tape with a time of 19:26. Shortly after, Ananya Christman of South Burlington crossed the line at 19:50, earning second place overall as the first female finisher.

This year, walkers strolled an inaugural 3K route, allowing all walkers and runners to finish in the same timeframe.

After the race, participants enjoyed post-run lawn games like cornhole, music by Top Hat Entertainment, City Market smoothie bikes, famous foot cookies made by longtime volunteers and an awards ceremony, where top finishers received medals. Raffle winners also pocketed gifts from Ski Rack, The Guilty Plate and Vermont Integrative Massage Therapy.

In her ‘thank you’ remarks, administrator Keegan told the crowd of a passionate five-year-old girl, who stood in the back with her extended family.

“Instead of birthday presents this year, she asked everyone to donate to the VNA Respite House in memory of her grandmother,” Keegan began.

VNA Respite House is the only Medicare-certified inpatient hospice residence in Vermont, and is heavily supported by community donations.

The VNA staff extends its gratitude to the event’s corporate sponsors, Colchester Parks and Recreation for handling race logistics, Colchester Police for ensuring participants’ safety and Malletts Bay School for hosting the event.

To make a donation to the VNA Respite House, please visit bit.ly/20ZM4Tb. To see a full list of race results, visit bit.ly/2rxEAPh.