Family Festivities and Foot Races at Wampus Brook Park
August 8, 2016 The Armonk Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor its annual Fall Cider and Donut Festival and Jamie’s 5K Run for Love. This year the Byram Hills Pre-School Association joins the festivities with its annual carnival. The event will take place on Sunday September 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Wampus Brook Park on Bedford Road, Armonk.
The events kick off with the children’s races that begin with the Donut Dash at 10:00 a.m. for ages 2 to 8 and the McIntosh Mile for all ages follows at 10:10 a.m. The 5K Jamie Run/Walk Race begins at 10:30 a.m. Registration can be completed on-line, or walk-in registration begins at 9:00 a.m. Jamie Love was a Byram Hills High School track and field participant, as well as a student and runner at the University of Vermont; he is remembered fondly by many of those who come to honor him.
The Cider and Donut Festival features many games and activities that include donut fishing and pie eating contests. The freshly made, deliciously hot donuts are prepared on premise thanks to Beascakes Bakery. Community merchants and Armonk Chamber of Commerce members will be on-site to host children’s activities and free giveaways. BBQ selections and other tasty treats will be available to purchase. The net proceeds from the Jamie Love Race benefit the North Castle Public Library’s Children’s programs and the Armonk Chamber of Commerce events.
This year in an collaborative effort, the Byram Hills Pre-School Association Carnival will also be at Wampus Brook Park and begins at 10:00 a.m. with age-appropriate rides, activities, pizza, and ice cream. This is the preschool association’s biggest event of the year.
For more information about the Cider and Donut Festival or to register for the run visit armonkchamberofcommerce.com. For additional information about the Byram Hills Pre-School Association or the Carnival visit BHPA.info.
Great Day for Memories, Races, Fresh Donuts and Apple Pie
September 15, 2014 A crisp fall morning at the Wampus Brook Park was a perfect way to begin a day of racing in memory of Jamie Love, a 20-year old young man. The afternoon ended with a reward of fresh, hot cinnamon donuts from Beascake Bakery. The line for the donuts was wrapped around the park, while people waited for a taste of yesteryear from the old Cider Mill that was the inspiration for the festival that began two years ago.
The morning kicked off with about 500 participants who raced around the park and beyond. Young runners, ages two to eight, dashed 100 yards. They were followed by the older kids and accompanied by some adults, who ran a mile, and then over 350 adults and kids walked and raced a 5K hilly course, all for a good cause.
The winner of the men’s race was Bobby Asher, with a time of 16:40, a 5:22 pace. Bobby is from the Bronx and is the modified coach for Edgemont High School and the captain of Van Cortlandt Track Club. He remembers seeing Jamie Love’s name among the top high school runners. “Today was a great race for a great cause,” said Asher. Sydney Duran, from the University of Vermont, was the winner of the women’s race, with a time of 19:38, a pace of 6:20, which is a course record for the women. The top three men and women racers received a pint drinking glass engraved with “JLOVE” from the Love family.
The annual race originally began at the Armonk Lions’ Fol de Rol as a 10K, then a 5K. Then six years ago, Byram Hills parents Jane Ellen Gertz and Grace Mui co-chaired the Fun Run race as a PTSA fundraiser. It was three years ago, that Sean Ryan, President of the Trustees of the North Castle Library and Briarcliff High School Track Coach, took over the event as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library that begins the week of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show. The race is now named “Run for Love” in memory of Jamie Love who was an avid outdoorsman, and a track and cross country runner at Byram Hills High School and the University of Vermont.
Some members of the Bachmann Love family came to town from Ohio to honor Jamie. “We are overwhelmed with love that people have for Jamie,” said his paternal grandmother, Kathy Bachmann. “It stops my heart to think that he influenced so many people. He was a kind and gentle person who made a difference in this world.”
The funds raised at the “Monet Mile” and Jamie’s 5K go back to the community. Last year’s donations supported programs for thousands of children at the North Castle libraries, said Ryan. “We are funding well over that this year.”
Megan Dean, the children’s librarian, participated in the event with her family. Dean said, “To see all the families and kids here is fantastic.” This year the donations from the Friends of the North Castle Library supported many more children’s programs, including the addition of interaction stories and robotics. Ryan said getting ready for the races takes about five months of preparation with the help of many volunteers, including from parents of the Byram Hills Cross Country team, North Castle Citizen Corps Council (NC4), and a host of other volunteers from the Friends of the North Castle Library.
Skip Beitzel, owner of Hickory & Tweed, fondly remembered Jamie as a wonderful young man who was an employee among many young men and women that Skip has mentored at the ski and cycle shop. Skip and Jamie also shared the same alma mater, the University of Vermont.
A group of Jamie’s classmates from the University of Vermont raced again this year. Aaron Szotka, said, “We all really loved Jamie. He was a smart kid and studied engineering. He was really funny and made all us laugh. He had a good balance in life; running, biking, snowboarding, and skiing. He loved being outdoors and having fun. That makes life so great; that the one life lesson Jamie shared with us all and I’ll always hold that with me.” “Each year the event gets bigger,” said Kenny Perschetz, who announced the race awards. There were a lot of award winners from White Plains, Mount Kisco, Pleasantville and Briarcliff.
Maryann Wuebber, from Armonk, placed first among the women’s age group 50 to 59. She ran a respectable 25:45. This wasn’t her first race here and she remembered Jamie because her son was on the track team with him at Byram Hills. Many of Byram Hills students, Jamie’s friends and teammates ran the race as well. BHHS Track Coach Tom Andriello ran and said his first thought was that Jamie would have a good laugh seeing his coach run. Whenever we do this, Coach Andriello said, we think of him, miss him, and feel he is still with us.
On an early morning walk through the park, Town Board member Barbara DiGiacinto said, “It was a Norman Rockwell experience. The unsung heroes were setting up to make it happen; Sean Ryan, Sam Morrell and many others, who are the backbone of our community events.” With the community effort from volunteers of the Friends of North Castle Library to the Chamber of Commerce Board members, hundreds of neighbors indulged in a morning of fast dashes to the 5K and then many young families joined in for the post-run festivities of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce’s Donut and Cider Festival.
The events blended together well. Chris Carthy, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, said the day was a collaborative effort between the Friends and the Chamber. The Chamber wanted to run the Cider and Donut Festival seamlessly with the races. The formula seemed to work as the turnout was far better than last year. One on the highlights of the festival was the pie-eating contest. Small apple pies were served and gobbled up separately among the kids and adults. Brian Straus, a fifth grader in Pleasantville Middle School, finished his apple pie first. “All I was doing was cramming in into my mouth,” he said, “but I like cherry pie better.”
Susan Geffen, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friends, said, “through our sponsors we provided food and drinks, and everyone had a good time.”
Armonk Art Show Week Starts off on a Solemn, yet Proud and Supportive, Note
September 26, 2013 Jamie's 5K race was more than a kick-off of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show. The day's event brought together hundreds of members of Jamie Love's community, consisting of 27 family members; his college buddies from the University of Vermont; his running mates; classmates; and coaches from Byram Hills High School, as well as hundreds of family friends and neighbors.
Everyone showed support for Jamie and spoke of his many passions, including running, mountain biking and snowboarding. Jamie became a member of the Hickory & Tweed "family" when he was thirteen, and he continued to work there through summers and during the school holidays. "He gained a quiet confidence," says Hickory & Tweed's owner, Skip Beitzel, "as he became the ‘Burton boarding expert’ of Hickory & Tweed. Jamie was a walk-on cross country runner for the UVM team, an A+ student in engineering, and a world-class snowboarder at Stowe, Vermont, added Beitzel.
Jamie's life came to an abrupt end in his sleep one night while away at college from a cardiac arrhythmia. But he lives on in the hearts of many who came together in Armonk, for one race, on the one day that everyone "Ran for Love" and wore his bracelet in solidarity. About 500 kids and adults ran to honor Jamie; most of the kids ran shorter distances than the adults. Special thanks go to the efforts of Sean Ryan, who coordinated the race with Jamie’s parents, Jim and Michelle, and his sister Noelle, who have shown strength and grace beyond words.
Byram Hills Coach Tom Andriello says Jamie would be proud of his sister as she runs, and as he cheers for Noelle, he cheers a little louder because he's also cheering for Jamie.
The top female and male racers of the day respectively were Erika Govan and Marc Violone, both of whom knew Jamie and ran with him on the Byram Hills track team. The track team is a family of young runners who learn how they fit into the scheme of life under the guidance of Coach Greg Govan. Coach Govan considers himself a friend of Jamie's and read a poem that he had saved from thirty years ago to be read one day in the future: that day turned out to be this day, in memory of Jamie Love. Coach Govan’s poetry reading brought tears to everyone's eyes.
Marc Violone finished the race first, as he has in the past, with a time of 16:36. "This year's race was a really special event," says Mark. "It was great to see how many people came out to participate in memory of Jaime. It seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves as well! The difference between this year and past races was that everyone was ‘running for love.’ The amount of energy and support at the event was something that a lot of people truly appreciated and will remember down the road."
Erika Govan, Coach Govan's daughter, finished with a time of 21:03. "I knew Jamie," Erika said."I used to run with the team all time, and I would workout with them. It's an emotional day and I'm glad to show my support.” Erika says it would be nice to still run with her dad's team because the kids are so motivating, but she is glad that she ran today for a good cause.
Jamie Love will always be remembered running in the hearts of our community.
We hope to see everyone at the Armonk Art Show this weekend and again at Jamie's race next year on September 14, 2014.