By TIM CLEVELAND
For the fourth year, the Boardman Knights of Columbus has put on a 5K race at St. Charles Borromeo Parish on Westview Drive to raise money for its various charitable causes.
This year’s race was on June 21, with a 1-2 finish of Boardman High School cross country runners. Nick Long finished the race first in 17:47.93 while Nathaniel Ams was second in 18:33.83.
“Our Knights of Columbus organization is dedicated to charitable endeavors,” Boardman Knights of Columbus treasurer Ronald Nuzzie said. “We’re affiliated with St. Charles Church and our membership [about 130 members] strives to raise funds through different fundraising – our spaghetti dinners, this 5K race, raffle ticket drawings – to give back to the less fortunate in our community and our church.”
Long will be a senior at Boardman High School this year. He won the race this year after finishing fourth the prior two times he ran it.
“I don’t know, I didn’t really think I’d end up winning,” he said. “I thought I’d be a minute slower than I was. I did it the last two years. I guess it’s just kind of a tradition now to do it.”
Nuzzie said 60 people pre-registered to run the race with another 40 signing up the day of it. He said event organizers hopes to raise $3,000-3,500 from the race which is slightly less than in prior years due to overcast weather.
“Over the last nine years we’ve given away over $100,000 to different charities throughout our local area,” Nuzzie said. “We stand strong with the principles of the Catholic Church and make our endeavors to help those less fortunate.”
Nuzzie said some of the charities the Boardman Knights of Columbus has helped over the years include Beatitude House, St. Charles School, veterans, Martha’s Cupboard soup kitchen in St. Charles, Eagle Scouts, Boy Scouts, people who need help paying their mortgage and utility assistance. He added that Clemente Ambulance has provided an EMT and an ambulance each year of the race at no charge.
Nuzzie said runners could gain many benefits by participating.
“I think camaraderie,” he said. “What’s nice about our 5K race is we give awards in each category for both men and women. We have nine different age categories. We also have a gift basket that they’re eligible to win. We’re also doing a 50/50 raffle drawing. They can have bragging rights for winning the course.”