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Donora smog race continues to grow

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Runners participate in a previous Donora Smog 5K Run/Walk and 10K Skate. The event, in its fourth year, raises funds for the Donora Smog Museum.

This will be the fourth year for the Donora Smog 5K Run/Walk and 10K Skate.

However, it isn't the first go-round for such an event in Donora.

Current committee vice president Anthony Massafra remembers firing the shot that started a 5K run in the Donora Industrial park. The former Donora mayor recalled the race was held for a few years in the 1980s.

Although that event faded away eventually, it was in part inspiration for current race director Deanna Pavelko when she was looking for a fundraiser. The Donora Smog 5K Run/Walk and 10K Skate was first held in 2010. The race benefits the Donora Smog Museum.

The staging area for the race is Valley Skating Center. The doors will open at 8 a.m. at the center, when registration and check-in begins. The 10K skate begins at 9 a.m. The 5K run/walk begins at 10 a.m.

Entry fee is $20 through Friday. Late registration will be held up until 10 minutes prior to race at $25. All participants pre-registered by Friday will be guaranteed a T-shirt and goody bag.

“Entry forms are coming in fast,” Pavelko said.

To register online, go to The race has “grown steadily” in attendance each year, Pavelko said.

“People who did it are repeat competitors because they really enjoy our race,” Pavelko said.

The race is also popular because it is a flat course which winds through the Donora Industrial Park. The race begins and ends adjacent to the Valley Skating Center parking lot.

While planning the first race, Pavelko was approached by skaters to hold the 10K skate because they have few races to compete in. Last year, one competitor, Gary DiPiazza, did both.

“I'm happy to provide that opportunity for them,” Pavelko said.

Located at 595 McKean Ave., the Donora Smog Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment by calling the museum at 724-823-0364.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

The museum opened in 2008 for the 60th anniversary of the tragic Donora Smog of 1948. The purpose of the museum “is to preserve and commemorate in a respectful and historically accurate manner the events of October 1948 and to acknowledge and accentuate the positive results that came out of these tragic circumstances,” according to the mission statement on the website of the volunteer committee that oversees it.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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