Running a great way to raise funds for Kennett community – Daily Local
One of the great opportunities for volunteering in Kennett is After-the-Bell (ATB), an after-school program at the Kennett Middle School. I coach the ATB 6th Grade Running Club, with 6th grade Language Arts teacher Melissa Keer. Like most volunteering opportunities, the volunteer gets as much out of the work as the people they are serving.
In this case, we introduce 12-year-old middle schoolers to the sport of running. Running dramatically increases bone strength in early adopters and may ward off osteoporosis later in life along with reducing the potential of Type 2 Diabetes. A cross-country team with professional coaches is available to the students in 7th and 8th grade.
There is often a local road race like the Mushroom Cap or Kennett Run that we run during the school semester. It shows the kids how running can be a lifetime sport. On this beautiful first Saturday in November, warmer than it had any right to be, Melissa and I got our SWAG t-shirt and bib and then ran the Mushroom Cap Fungi 5-mile race.
Another day in paradise.
Kennett has always had the objective of being a great place to grow up and grow old and it is delivering on that promise. The new open space around the Burrough Building beats the daylights out of staging a Kennett road race on the Friends Meeting House lawn and Union Street where it has been in the past. In the new space, it is safer, more flexible and can have many other vendors. A week before, the library used the space.
My guess is the Burrough can rent out or use this space year around to advance the community’s agenda. It is an open space that serves everyone. I mention this because there is a rumor that the land could be monetized by converting it to high density housing. That would be such a blow to Kennett’s progress. We are already converting a large swatch of land to housing north of town. These new homes are more expensive than the average current Kennett resident can afford.
As an engineer and businessman, I understand why things work this way. Everything follows the money. Just ask the folks from New Garden Township how their wastewater facilities were monetized to the tune of 29 million dollars. But their monthly wastewater bills doubled when the private company got their money back with interest. And now they are going after the water in the aquifers under our homes to sell on the open market and raise our water bills.
Then look at the Amazon vans lined up to drop off all the stuff that local merchants used to provide. This always makes me sad. Don’t get me started on Harrisburg and Washington DC. There are multiple lobbyists and advocacy groups for every politician to make sure our money is spent in their sponsor’s best interest. If you see a need for change that our legislators should address, please tell them. I believe they would much rather hear from you than the professionals that are paid to sell them something.
This means we have to continue to fight the entropy that breaks down our community into profit centers and serves the people on the top end of the food chain better than the bottom. We need this open space for the Kennett community, and we shouldn’t privatize it if we are going to maximize the best for the most. We do need low cost housing but not at the expense of the open spaces for the people who need low-cost housing.
On this morning the community came together for a run through the streets, and it was such a gift. The half marathon and 5 miler started at eight am. The shorter race took a little over an hour for me. Melissa was much better and finished in about ¾ of an hour. I did get a carton of mushrooms for winning my age group, and Melissa placed in her age group too. One of the very few benefits of aging is that after 65, your age group gets slower, and it is easier to bring home hardware. Though you slow down too.
I ran with an 8-year-old girl and her mother. The girl did better than I did. It was great to see old friends along the way like the Reigel family who was dispensing water. I would remind you that not only is running fun, but it is good for you. I read that in a few years, half of Americans will be clinically obese. I know it is not good to talk about people’s weight, but give me a break, the whole country has gained 30 pounds and aren’t we the fattest country in the world? We need to move more.
Wintertime isn’t the easiest time to keep moving but it is doable. We have a great town to run in and enjoy as we pass it on to the next generation. Let’s hope that we will be lining up at the Burrough Building for a 5 or 10K, decades from now on with our grandchildren.
The Story of Kennett – Shaping the future one child at a time” Bob George and Joan Holliday’s book on Kennett may be purchased on Amazon and at the Mushroom Cap or Resale Book Shoppe in Kennett. You can contact Bob at email@example.com.