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Penn State Fayette to host Bunny Trail run/walk for Miracle League

| Saturday, April 5, 2014, 3:39 p.m.

It's a walk, it's a run, it's a full morning of fun, and in addition to the enjoyment aspect of the event, it's for a wonderful cause.

The third annual Miracle Bunny Trail 5K run/walk will be held on Saturday at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus with proceeds going to the Miracle League of Pa.'s Laurel Highlands Champions, a nonprofit baseball league for individuals with special needs.

“The first two Miracle 5K events were more successful than we could have ever imagined, “ MLPLHC chairwoman Jessilyn Holp said. “We are very thankful for all the volunteers and for the outpouring of community support. I'd like the Miracle 5K Bunny Trail to be an annual event that locals add to their calendars each year.”

More than 500 children and adults took part in the event last year. In addition to the walk and run, the event offers activities for children such as an Easter egg hunt, face painting, Easter crafts, games and a visit from the Easter Bunny.

The goal of the event is to call attention to the group and its mission.

“We started this event in 2012 to help create awareness for our league's work in the community and opportunities that we offer to young people in our region,” MLPLHC board member Josh Scully said. “Our ultimate goal is to raise enough funding to eventually build the first Miracle League field in our service area.”

The field would be made of a latex-free rubberized surface that is free of obstructions.

“Even the bases would just appear on the surface as a white square, and nothing would be raised,” Scully said. “This allows players needing to use walkers or wheelchairs to move freely across the field.

“Our first two races, in 2012 and 2013, were very successful, and we are hoping to continue that success this year and beyond.”

The event will be a little different, offering ways to participate for those who may find a 5K walk challenging.

“One change we decided to make was to drop competitive walking for the event,” Scully said. “Individuals can still walk in support of the league, to exercise, or to prepare themselves for a later event. We will still keep their time, and they can enjoy the same experience as last year, sans we won't be giving out awards for placement to the walkers.

“The course we use at Penn State Fayette is a loop course, so keeping track of the walkers for competitive purposes is very difficult.” Scully said. “We can still offer runners the same accountability with their placement that we have offered in previous years. Our last two races were very competitive and very close, and we want to see those same runners back, running competitively. We have the same awards for the runners as we did last year.”

The event is a rain-or-shine event, but coordinators hope that sunny skies will prevail to add to the experience of having fun while helping others.

The event will feature raffle prizes and theme baskets.

“First and foremost, I am hoping for good weather,” Holp said. “ We want everyone who comes out to have an enjoyable experience while we raise money for a great cause.”

Registration can be done online at www.mlplh.org or from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Penn State Fayette campus cafeteria on Friday.

Participants can register the day of the event starting at 7 a.m.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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