Here’s a thought to warm things up on these cold pre-winter days: The ever-popular Sesame Place Classic will be returning for its 21st running in 2019.
Sure, it’s a long way off but if you’re making out your running calendar for next year, here’s a chance to circle May 19 with a big, bold, red marker pen.
The Classic, sponsored by the Levittown Bristol Kiwanis Club and the Bucks County Herald, will be back with all the usual fun, namely a featured 5K, a one-mile fun run/walk and a kids’ sprint races event.
And if you consider yourself an early bird, registration for all three distances will be open Saturday, Dec. 1, 12 noon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the race go to the Dick Dougherty Scholarship Fund, named for the late sports editor of the Bucks County Courier Times. Since the race’s inception in 1999, close to $500,000 has been raised to assist college-bound scholar-athletes from 18 Bucks County high schools.
They will be honored with the annual Kiwanis Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet at the Bucks County Sheraton Hotel on May 22.
“This is our 21st year of sponsoring the Classic,’’ said Kiwanis Club’s Dixie Rhodes, a long-time Classic advocate. “I am elated that we are continuing this event.
“And it gives me great pleasure to honor these worthy young adults. Good kids need to get attention in the press. The Classic and the awards banquet are one good way to positively highlight the exploits of high school students.’’
There are plenty of traditional features coming back for next year’s Classic, including a free, one-day admission ticket to Sesame Place for all who register.
Also returning are last year’s “finisher’s medals,’’ which proved to be quite popular for the 20th anniversary Classic.
“It’s a chance to bring out the whole family,’’ said Kiwanis Club president Mary Berman. “There’s something for everyone. The Sesame Place free ticket is quite popular and many runners wear their race T-shirt with pride. It’s just a great day.’’
Added Rhodes: “To me, the best part of the race is seeing the joy of a young runner interacting with his/her favorite Sesame character; or seeing grandma and grandpa ‘racing” with his/her grandchildren. The competition for some is real but for others it’s a wonderful family outing. Everyone is a winner.’’
When the race is over, final preparations for the banquet 22 begin.
One male and one female scholar-athlete from each high school is honored at the banquet and receives a check from the Dougherty Scholarship Fund.
Last year, ex-Flyers great Brian Propp was guest speaker.
“These fine young individuals who will be honored always amaze, inspire and somewhat humble me after hearing about each one of their achievements at such an early age,’’ said race co-director Ernie Nocito.
The Classic is a great way to have a fun day and support a worthy cause. It all culminates with the banquet at the Sheraton.
“Not only are the award winners outstanding athletes, they possess an excellent grade point average,’’ Rhodes pointed out. “In addition they are leaders in their school and their community. Our future will be safe in their hands.’’
For more information about the Classic, visit www.sesameplaceclassic5k.com.
Saturday, Dec. 8
The 12K o’ Christmas, 10 a.m., Richboro. Contact runsignup.com.