Locals run, walk to benefit arts center


Recorder News Staff

As some of the last pairs of sneakers tore through the finish line at Shuttleworth Park Sunday for Hosner Fitness' 5K Run For Recreation, snow started to flutter from the sky.

"It's confetti," joked the runners, some of whom had never competed in a race like that before.

There was much to be celebrated at the event, in which 200 people ran and walked about three miles from the gym's Midline Road locale to the park. The road was shut down to vehicular traffic, while members of the Hagaman and Perth volunteer fire companies, Amsterdam Police and Fire Departments, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and GAVAC redirected motorists and ensured the participants' safety.

Every participant finished -- a feat for many first time 5K runners -- and it's also expected to have raised thousands of dollars for the city of Amsterdam's Creative Connections Arts Center at 303 E. Main St.

Event organizers Lisa and Rob Hosner, who are the proprietors of Hosner Fitness, are donating all proceeds from the event. They originally intended to donate them to the city's Recreation Department to support its parks.

But as they learned more about the department, and the fairly recent launch of its arts center, they said they decided to earmark the money for the center's programming. The city, in turn, decided to name the second floor of the center in honor of the couple.

"We've had so much support from a ton of people -- from businesses to runners," Lisa Hosner said. "We're hoping to make this an annual event."

In addition to registration fees collected from participants, businesses donated goods and gift cards that were raffled off Sunday in a full-fledged celebration at the park. Community members gathered at the finish line to cheer on the runners, and entertainment like face painting, music, and barbecue were available to people who attended.

"Thank you, thank you, to Rob and Lisa," said Mayor Ann Thane. "This is absolutely a huge help to us. We really want to be able to offer programming to kids in need, because it's the whole concept behind the center."

Thane said the donations will help purchase materials and equipment, such as tables and chairs, and easels, and the center additionally wants to get hooked into wireless Internet service so it can offer computer programming.

"We're starting from scratch, and this will hugely benefit us," Thane said. "These are the types of things that make this community so wonderful -- it should be proud."

The center will kick off its first series of courses this week, ranging from herbology classes, to creative writing, to an introduction to DJing.

For more information on the classes, or sign up, visit www.creativeconnectionsarts.org.