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President’s Corner: “State of the Club”/Thanks for your Support!

The Essex Running Club is “alive and well” at the close of 2015. Here are just a few highlights and comments on what you’ve been reading about all year.

– We again finish the year with over 250 members. Over 40 members are taking advantage of our “Multi Year Membership”. Our membership continues to be $25.00/year (cheaper with multi year and family memberships). (This membership fee has been the same for at least 20 of our 32 years.) Our Board of Directors (including Treasurer Carl Sturcke) work very hard in organizing events for all members of all abilities and making the most of your membership dues. Thank you to John Harvey for handling “Membership Duties”.

–Several members as always were honored at the “Annual Awards Ceremony”.  Laura Barry and Jerry Velli were named “Runners of the Year”.  Long time member Mick Close became the ninth member of the ERC to be named into the “Hall of Fame” for his running accomplishments and constant “behind the scenes” contributions to the club such as his ten years as newsletter editor, his twenty five years organizing our race calendar, his work with the Verona Labor Day 5K, and organizing runs with Fleet Feet.  (This past fall, Mick ran his 50th Marathon.)

–For a second year, Paul Giuliano led over a dozen members through ERC Speedwork Sessions.

–For a second year, Tracy Keller and Laura Barry organized morning and evening “National Running Day” activities.  Over 50 members were involved.

–Monthly meetings at Fitzgeralds are more popular than ever.  Among the meetings most popular was one where three of our members, Sue Palermo, Melissa DeMarco, and Jackson Bangs spoke about their running experiences.  Member Beth Candela shared her knowledge on nutrition.  Our good friend, John Fabbro from Fleet Feet gave a great talk on “Reflective Gear” and “Compression Clothing”.  We also had a great “hands on” meeting from Dr. Geno Mayes, Dr. Marine Wortman, and their staff at Iron Fit Physical Therapy in Caldwell.  At the church hall next to Fleet Feet, the world famous Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson spoke to a record breaking crowd for our October meeting (with our cosponsors, Fleet Feet and Lynne Mortimer).  Last month, we had over 50 people at our “Annual Fall Races and Marathon Forum”.

–In August, Over 70 ERC Members ran on over ten teams at the 20th Annual River to Sea.  (Long time member Tom Kelly ran his 19th of the 20 R2C’s.)

— Stephanie Hayes and Connor O’Brien were the Montclair High School students who received $500.00 scholarships in memory of Doug Williams.  Mick Close organized the annual awards from the ERC.

— Over 15 ERC Members ran against strong Clifton, North Jersey Masters, and other teams at the Annual Interclub Challenge at Passaic Park in Clifton, (organized by Desmond Duncker).

— For a fourth year, Tom Eaton and his family organized the very successful “Youth Track Series” in Glen Ridge. Over 50 members and Fleet Feet Sports volunteered at the two meets. Over 100 young athletes participated.

— Four weekend club runs are available to members: the Sunday Morning Grove Street Runs, the Sunday Morning and Thursday evening Fleet Feet Runs, and the Saturday morning trail runs.  Several member groups such as “Team Bacon” have regularly scheduled runs.  (Please follow what is reported on Facebook.)

–Due to a suggestion by Don Manfria, summer hosted runs became summer hosted events this year.  Runs with watermelon, ice cream, pizza, and other themes were enjoyed by all.

— The club (led by Mick Close) worked with John Fabbro and Fleet Feet, Montclair in organizing runs such as the Ten Hill Challenge Run, the Eagle Rock 9/11 Memorial Run, and the Trail Mix Run.

–For a third year, John and Faye Harvey hosted the Annual Wine and Cheese Party in their home. Over 50 club members were in attendance. Other “Socials” included the Verona Park Labor Day Picnic organized by Anne Chesny (after the race).

–At least ten members contributed profiles of themselves which appeared in the “President’s Corner” column of the newsletter.

–Due to the efforts of Laura Barry, our clothing line is now online.  (See info. in newsletter.)  Surplus clothing is available for sale with profits going to the Doug Williams High School Scholarship Fund.

–Laura Barry and Michael Gorman continue to oversee the USATF teams.  We thank them for their organization.

–Our good friend Dan Murphy continues to organize the very successful Fitzgerald’s Lager 5K, the Doug Williams Memorial 5K (for Montclair State scholarship funds), the Horace Ashenfelter 5K, and most recently the Bloomfield Spirit Run.  All races are very popular with club members.

–Tom & Martta Kelly and Mick & Catherine Close continue their hard work on the Verona Labor Day 5K.  Proceeds from this race went towards the Doug Williams High School Scholarship Fund mentioned earlier.

–Once again, congratulations to John and Dawn Fabbro for their award from the Montclair “Y”.

–Mark Frankel, Larry Hollander, Mick Close, Paige Sato, Carl Sturcke, and the staff at Fleet Feet did another great job with the organization of the two N.Y. Marathon buses.

–As we go to press, our website is being revised.  Due to the subcommittee efforts of Desmond Duncker, Paige Sato, Ryen & Pia LoPresti, Don Manfria, and Adam Perry the website will be tied more to social media with more frequent reminders and postings.  As this is being written, Paige in particular is making revisions to the website.  While this transition is going on, there will no publication of the newsletter while we are organizing a more efficient, modern club information system.  Stay tuned—it will be very exciting.

–Special thanks goes to Desmond Duncker for his “double duty” with the website and newsletter these past four years.  From personal experience, the newsletter is the busiest job for the club so to monitor the website on top of that (and so many other things with the club) is truly “above and beyond”.  Thanks Des!

–Additional thanks to Tom Kelly for his years as Club Secretary.  Pia LoPresti will serve as Club Secretary this year.  Tracy Keller will be President, Laura Barry will be Vice President, and Carl Sturcke will continue as Treasurer.

–Special thanks to Board Members Tracy Keller, Laura Barry, Ryen LoPresti, Pia LoPresti, John Harvey, Desmond Duncker, Carl Sturcke, Don Manfria, Paula Fields, Paige Sato, Anne Chesny, Mark Frankel, Mick Close, and Tom Kelly.  As I’ve said many times before, my role as President has been quite easy due to the hard work of the Board Members.

–Tracy Keller is planning some new and exciting ideas for the club so stay tuned with the revised website and many more new directions! Special thanks to Tracy for her work with “Social” these past three years.

–Most of all, thank you for your support these past three years.  Most of the running clubs which started in the 70’s and 80’s no longer exist but the Essex Running Club is still going strong.  This is due to the appeal to runners and walkers of all abilities and interest levels.  Keep it going!

Consider yourself…at home…one of the family…one of us….


Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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