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Runners Give Big Money to Sleepy Hollow Groups

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – When it comes to its most recent donation, Rivertown Runners Vice President Todd Ruppel made sure to bring a huge check to fit the occasion.

The group, which raises money for community programs through running, has donated $23,000 to various organizations within Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown. Ruppel and President Kristen Idalski presented the donation during a recent board of trustees meeting.

“The most important thing is that none of this would be possible without the support of the village, the trustees, the DPW” and the police, Idalski said, noting that public works officials helped them prepare for the race and police helped keep everyone safe.

The $23,000 was raised through the annual Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon , a 13.1-mile race held at the end of March. More than 1,000 runners from the New York metropolitan area and beyond converged onto Sleepy Hollow to participate.

Rivertown Runners has divided the money among 14 organizations: the Briarcliff Ambulance Corps, the Tarrytown Fire Department, the Girl Scouts of the Tarrytowns, the Boy Scouts of the Tarrytowns, the Sleepy Hollow High School Modified Sports program, the Rivertown Runners Scholarship program, the Sleepy Hollow Fire Department, the Sleepy Hollow Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Sleepy Hollow Downtown Revitalization Committee, Neighborhood House, the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Community Food Pantry, the village of Sleepy Hollow and the Kids' Club of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

The biggest donations included $7,000 to support the Kids' Club summer camps, $4,000 to finish renovations at Douglas Park and $3,000 for both Neighborhood House and the Community Food Pantry.

“Thank you for this tremendous generosity to our village and thank you on behalf of all of us throughout the community,” Sleepy Hollow Ken Wray said after posing for photos with representatives from each organization and the big check. “We're very proud of this event.”

Idalski also noted the event's tourism implications: the race saw more than double the number of runners in 2011 and a majority of runners were not from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

Idalski said only 7 percent of runners came from the Tarrytowns. About 32 percent came from other areas of Westchester County, some 31 percent came from the five boroughs of New York City, 11 percent came from New Jersey and 5 percent came from Connecticut.

Idalski said there was even a runner from Canada. Rivertown Runners heard nothing but praise for Sleepy Hollow police and others assisting the race, Idalski said.

“It really just completed their impression of being here and feeling welcome, so I really think that everything everybody does is important and contributes to the community,” she said.

Sleepy Hollow Trustee Jennifer Lobato-Church finished the half-marathon and thanked the organization for the event, noting there's been a lack of races in the past.

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