Annie Barnes wrote -
Laurel Run was created by Wayne and Elaine Hotelling of Silver Creek, NY, in honor of their oldest daughter. When Laurel was diagnosed with Down syndrome as a baby, doctors told her parents the best thing they could do for themselves and for Laurel was to put her in an institution, forget about her and move on with their lives. Laurel's parents acted immediately - by changing doctors. They raised Laurel at home, giving her the same opportunities as her siblings and the other children in the neighborhood - playing sports, taking piano lessons, participating in Girl Scouts. Today Laurel is a happy 53-year-old who loves Buffalo sports teams and anything Disney-related. She also has a job five days a week at a Work Center that employs people with disabilities
In 1997, Laurel's dad jogged and bicycled more than 400 miles across New York State to raise awareness about the potential that exists within individuals with disabilities. This was going to be a one-time event, but it struck such a positive chord with people that Laurel Run turned into a yearly event. Our 20th annual Laurel Run takes place Saturday, July 16, in Laurel's hometown of Silver Creek. There will be an 8-kilometer run, a 5K walk, children's runs, and our signature event - Laurel's Lap, in which people with disabilities take a lap around the track
We call our 8K event "The Toughest Race You'll Love to Run" because of the 3 H's - heat, humidity and hills. The 8K course is a tough one, but those who accept the Laurel Run 8K challenge know that they only have to endure their discomfort for a little while - by contrast, people with disabilities live with their challenges every day
Money raised through Laurel Run benefits people with disabilities who receive supports through The Resource Center and TRC Foundation, Inc. We hope you'll join us for Laurel Run. To learn more, visit www.laurel-run.com.