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Snowflake run kicking off in Leetsdale

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

A goal of attracting at least 200 runners has been set for Leetsdale Borough's first Snowflake Classic 5K and 2-mile walk, to be held Nov. 23.

The event being planned to raise money for the borough's Fourth of July celebration will beginnear Chuck Knox Stadium. Registration will start at 8 a.m. that day, runners will begin at 9 a.m. and walkers, a few minutes later.

Joe McGurk, borough council president and a member of the race committee, said he has wanted to have such a race for a long time and is training to compete. His daughter will travel from New Jersey to run, he said, as will his wife, Judy's son, who lives in Polish Hill.

McGurk said he recruited Quaker Valley students to get their friends to participate, and he hopes corporate sponsors will choose one of several available packages.

McGurk said the borough will also raise money to support the Fourth of July celebration with a bake sale on Election Day, Nov. 5.

Susan Montanile, race and Fourth of July committee member, said shopping bags will be sold on Election Day to benefit the celebration.

For this year's July 4 festivities, two concerts in the park, a carnival, a T-shirt sale, a May primary election bake sale and corporate sponsorships raised enough money for the fireworks — which cost $10,000 — plus a parade and other activities.

McGurk, also a member of the Fourth of July committee, said about $18,000 was needed for this year's celebration, but more than that amount was raised and put into a Fourth of July committee account.

He said the committee intends to continue having fundraisers to continue to put more into that account.

Although previous borough administrators paid for the celebration from the borough budget, McGurk said new board members didn't want taxpayers to have to pay for the show.

“We felt the Fourth of July committee would be able to raise enough money,” he said.

Although for this year's celebration, the borough had to loan money to the committee to buy the fireworks, that won't have to happen this year, he said. The committee will have enough in the account.

For the 2014 celebration, committee members are hoping to raise about $25,000.

“Parade bands and other participants charge fees of $500 or more, and we are hoping to have more participants next year and perhaps a float contest,” Montanile said.

Snowflake Classic race T-shirts will be provided to participants on race day who have registered and paid by Nov. 1. T-shirts for late registrants will be available on race day while supplies last.

Runners will pick up their T-shirts and runner's packets at registration the day of the race.

Then, participants will walk up the hill to the start of the race in front of the high school on Beaver Street. Medals will be awarded to the top three males and females, and water and refreshments will be available.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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