By Pam Harnden, Livermore Falls Advertiser
JAY — Saturday morning energy and enthusiasm were abundant at the Inaugural Fall Fun 5K Walk/Run which raised $1,176 for Franklin County Special Olympics.
As people were registering, organizer Katie Ouellette said, “The day is here. They’re rolling in. We couldn’t ask for a better day.”
Ouellette, a special education teacher at Spruce Mountain Elementary School, and Otis Federal Credit Union employee Barbie Richard began organizing the fundraiser last spring. Participants began at the credit union, made their way up Main Street, along the Whistle Stop Trail and ended at French Falls Recreation Area.
“We have a lot of awesome volunteers!” Richard said.
More than a dozen volunteers helped with registration, took pictures, kept participants heading in the right direction or greeted folks at the finish area. Spruce Mountain High School National Honor Society members Rylee Saunders, Jordan Daigle, Gabby Beaudoin and Moreland Brochu were there along with SMHS alumnus Andrew Richard and instructor Ken Landry.
Volunteering from Otis were Sarah Hayes, Bridget Henderson, Jamie Walp, Josie Metivier, Ryan Souther and Kassie Whittemore. Also helping were Aden Richard, Brady Walp, Kayla Adams, Sheila Weed and Stephanie Fullam.
Before the start Ouellette said, “Thank you all for coming. For taking time out of your Saturday to support Special Olympics, something that’s very special to Barbie and me.”
Ryan Davis of Livermore Falls crossed the finish line first. Paul Mills of Farmington was second.
“24 minutes is not bad for someone’s who’s over 29,” Mills said.
Minutes later, Oak Medina of Wilton was the first youth to finish. He was accompanied by his aunt and uncle, Eli and Tiffany Ring of North Carolina.
“I grew up here. I’m visiting family,” Eli said.
T-shirts for the 5K were donated by Otis, Ouellette and Richard. Hannaford contributed water, cups and napkins. Coca-Cola donated water. Ouellette and Richard donated apples and cider. Gift certificates were donated by Ski Depot and My Dad’s Place.