They're Off

More than 50 runners in the Mission of Hope 5K -- organized by Schroon Lake Central School Junior Clare Whitney -- ran in brilliant sunshine today to raise funds for the poverty stricken Chiquilistagua Public School in Nicaragua.

"Thank you all for coming today. I know a lot of you hope you will finish this race, but the hope you are giving others today is well worth it," Clare said as the runners linned up.

Moments later they were off. Cheered on by a small, but enthusiastic crowd, the runners completed two laps in and around the Schroon Lake Central School. The run attracted students, teachers, locals and second home owners.

Clare Whitney goes over course directions with the runners

First across the finish line was Jesse Berube, 24, from Puntman Station. with an unofficial time of 16 minutes and 11 seconds. Jesse enterd the race at the last minute, at the suggestion of his fiance, who told him it was for a good cause. "I am happy to be running and happy to help out," said Jesse, a 4th grade teacher from the Windham Ashland Jewett School in the Catskills.

Winner: Jesse Berube

Clare was thrilled with the turnout. "I'm so happy that people took the time to do this." Clare has a goal to race $10,000 to buy school lunches for a whole year for the school in Nicaragua, where Clare visted with the North Country Mission of Hope group in February.

If you'd like to contribute it's not too late. Mail a check made out to Clare Whitney or North Country Mission of Hope, to PO Box 681, Schroon Lake, NY 12870.

The fundraising continues tonight with a dinner at St. Andrews Episcopal Church.The dinner runs from 4.30pm to 8 pm and costs $10 for adults and $5 for students and kids five and under. For those who ran today the cost is $1.