Armonk Community Race and Festivities for Jamie Love
October 7, 2016
On September 18, there were 275 runners who crossed the finish line of the short dash, the mile, and Jamie Love 5K Run/Walk. As well hundreds of people watched and gathered at Wampus Brook Park to enjoy the music, food and fun of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce's Cider and Donut Festival and the Byram Hills Preschool Association’s Carnival.
Jamie Love died three years ago at the age of 20. He was a member of the Byram Hills High School cross country and track & field teams, and was an avid runner who chose to continue his running career in college at the University of Vermont where he was studying mechanical engineering. “Jamie was also a responsible young man who worked from an early age, most notably at Hickory & Tweed, where his other passions of biking and snowboarding were fulfilled. Jamie was an active user of our library from an early age where he enjoyed all the children’s programming and had taken to E-Books as a way to conserve and protect the environment,” said Sean Ryan, president of the North Castle Library Board of Trustees who has been committed to the Jamie Love for Run for the past four years.
Since the inception of the road races for adults and children, the BHHS coaches and parents have provided logistics support. Hickory & Tweed has been a sponsor of this race from the beginning. Both organizations are proud to continue their support in Jamie’s memory.
“This year’s community event with the preschool carnival was tremendous for our kids, family and community,” said Michelle Love, Jamie’s mother. “The day is about our kids having fun experiences and that’s why everybody does it, and that gives us joy.”
In addition, Ryan said that Neal Schwartz, president of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce, and many others put in the effort to raise money that directly benefits North Castle libraries.
The event helps with improvements to the library as it becomes one of the fastest growing libraries in the area.
Ryan added, “Our cause is our library in Armonk and North White Plains. The benefit to our library is one of both financial support due to the generosity of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce and awareness of our library's improvement plans. Last year the focus was on renovation of the Armonk children's area--which has experienced dramatic enhancement. This year the focus is on expansion of our North White Plains location--which is about to start. The focus of this type of community event energizes us to accomplish our goals.”
“The biggest change this year was the Byram Hills Preschool Association’s carnival which was combined with the race and festival. It allowed local businesses to offer some activities ‘up close and personal’ in a fun manner, said Schwartz. There were over 50 volunteers for Jamie's 5K “Run for Love”, with more volunteer help from Chamber members than in the past. Events like the Cider and Donut Festival provide our community an opportunity to work together to make our community stronger and better, he continued.
Jessica DiMatteo, Byram Hills Preschool Association president said, “The Byram Hills Preschool Association was thrilled to partner with the Armonk Chamber of Commerce for this wonderful event. We were so happy to have our young families participate in the various runs as well. What a great day of rides, donuts, activities, town spirit, and fun. It truly celebrates what a special community Armonk is.”
“With the kids and the runners on both ends of the park, they intermix so well,” said Robby Morris, Armonk Chamber of Commerce board member. There was food, cider and donuts, entertainment and activities, and pie-eating contests, all with a lot of effort from many people.
Barry Reiter, North Castle Town Board member, said, “This is a great event; it shows the community coming together and looks like people are having fun. It’s good for everybody. With the preschool association there are a lot of new families coming in.”
“It’s great to have everybody out here,” added Stephen D’Angelo, another North Castle Town Board member. He noted that the day’s participants expanded beyond the Armonk community with the Preschool Association’s diversity of families members from Thornwood, Pleasantville, Bedford and beyond.
Some of the observations on Jamie Love’s view of life over the years from sixth grade through college were draped around the 5K course and worn on bracelets. His many words of wisdom were also read at the University of Vermont (UVM), at the College of Engineering graduation in 2014 when Noelle, his sister, accepted his degree on his behalf as he was graduated posthumously.
At the September 18 town event, everyone agreed that their favorite Jamie Love saying hung from Rainbow Bridge: “Run for Love.”