Whitesboro, N.Y. - The Utica Roadrunners running club held a fundraiser in May that lasted for 15 days, and on Saturday the money raised during that event was used to salute local frontline workers who have had to work through the coronavirus pandemic to keep others safe, by offering them a free breakfast at the Boulevard Diner in Whitesboro.
May's event was the Utica Roadrunners first annual Five After Five Virtual Challenge designed to help keep people active and healthy during the pandemic, all while raising money for Saturday's Frontline Breakfast.
Participants of the Five After Five Virtual Challenge could either walk or run 5K or 5 miles every day for 15 days and raise money for doing so.
Utica Roadrunners President Jim Mott says 185 people took part and enough money was raised to serve 500 free breakfasts on Saturday, "We just want to recognize the front line people, the essential workers. We also wanted to work with the Boulevard Diner, which, just like all the businesses has been suffering through this and trying to survive. We are a nonprofit club and we saw this was a really good opportunity to get out there and help some of our friends."
Adrianne Dubiel of Whitesboro works in a local medical office and says she and her husband just stopped in for breakfast Saturday morning and had no idea the event was going on, "I think this is wonderful. The support the medical staff gets from everybody is really, really good. I mean we really are trying to get to through this as a group."
Utica Roadrunners Board Member Bill Callahan says it's great to see faces like Adrianne's and their kind works thanking them for a free breakfast, "A lot of friends and family have been frontline responders throughout this entire thing so the fact that we can do something to give back to them for all the hours all the sweat and tears they’ve been putting in and everything to help us out, it’s extremely gratifying when they come up and say thank you for what you’re doing because we have a chance now to say thank you for everything you’ve done for us."
As far as the future of organizing races, Mott says that is still up in the air, "Every day is a challenge. We’re trying to plan our races, we’re trying to figure out what we are going to do, so we’re going month by month."