'Miles For Michael' Sets a New Attendance Record

Roadrunners and walkers excited to begin the 5K are only minutes away from the starters signal.
Roadrunners and walkers excited to begin the 5K are only minutes away from the starters signal.
The Gallagher family grab a group photo before starting the race.
The Gallagher family grab a group photo before starting the race.
The day couldn’t have run so smoothly if it weren’t for the many volunteers helping out.
The day couldn’t have run so smoothly if it weren’t for the many volunteers helping out.
Our top female runner was Walt Whitman alumna Kelley Rauseo who clocked in with a brisk time of 21:17.98.  Setting a new course record and the fastest runner on the day was Aaron Robertson who finished in 17:14:76.
Our top female runner was Walt Whitman alumna Kelley Rauseo who clocked in with a brisk time of 21:17.98. Setting a new course record and the fastest runner on the day was Aaron Robertson who finished in 17:14:76.
Enjoying the beautiful day, the Plaisir family head down the home stretch.
Enjoying the beautiful day, the Plaisir family head down the home stretch.
Hitting the 3-mile mark, and ready to turn into Whitman’s main entrance where the official finish line was waiting, was a welcome sight for the 595 registered participants.
Hitting the 3-mile mark, and ready to turn into Whitman’s main entrance where the official finish line was waiting, was a welcome sight for the 595 registered participants.
“Michael [Gallagher] was taken from the world far too soon; but through his struggle with illness, he inspired us in many ways. I think the enormous participation in today’s event continues to show how many lives he’s touched,” said New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, shown with community members as they head down the home stretch.
“Michael [Gallagher] was taken from the world far too soon; but through his struggle with illness, he inspired us in many ways. I think the enormous participation in today’s event continues to show how many lives he’s touched,” said New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci, shown with community members as they head down the home stretch.
South Huntington Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo set a brisk pace from beginning to end as he heads to the finish line.
South Huntington Superintendent Dr. Dave Bennardo set a brisk pace from beginning to end as he heads to the finish line.

The place to be this past Saturday morning was Walt Whitman High School and the neighboring community along the 2nd Annual ‘Miles for Michael’ 5K Run-Walk. Mother Nature did not disappoint Ms. Sheila Buhse, who conceived, organized, and directed this incredible event, so she provided the over 595 registered runners and walkers with a picture-perfect morning.

Originally named the Art and Sole 5K, the now annual event was renamed for Walt Whitman 2012 graduate Michael Gallagher who passed away on June 18, 2014, after a valiant two-year battle with cancer. All proceeds from this annual event will benefit the arts, music, and dance programs for South Huntington students. This annual event also serves to galvanize the extended Gallagher family each year to gather and honor Michael’s tenacity, bravery, and spirit.

Officiated by Start to Finish Road Race Timers and Consultants, this sanctioned 5K run drew participants from the entire metro-new York area, and even as far away as Chicago and Virginia. New York road race expert commentator Mr. Terry Bisogno took to the microphone and gave runners and the South Huntington community a commentary that introduced each and every participant as they crossed the finish line. Terry and Sheila took to the podium at the conclusion where the top three runners in over 30 categories were presented medals.

The Whitman dancers performed at the end of the event, and their talent was on display for the whole community to enjoy. At the Kids Fun Run, parents cheered on their littlest runners as they circled the Whitman track and then made a grand exit through the official finish line. There were tents with baskets for raffle and nourishment for all of the participants and their fans.

“Thank you all for helping make this past weekend’s celebration and remembrance of Michael Gallagher a huge success,” said Ms. Buhse.    “We surpassed the goals that even I had in mind.  The weather was perfect, and the participants were all extremely happy to be involved. Thanks again for all your team spirit!”

Committee members: Annie Michaelian, Maria Colon, Steven Toto, Vasken Kazandjian, Sue Radin, Helene Falcone, Rory Sherman, Angela Meringolo, and Eleanora Ferrante.

Special thanks to the “fabulous four” Margaret Bayley, Joanne Padilla, Christine Rapp, and Kelly Twist.

Could not have happened without: Carlo Giordano and Kevin Kennedy- Big Thanks to both!

Morning Set Up and Break Down: John Burke, Lou Savarese, Bill Rathje, Phil Martelli, Don Prisco, Chuck Salerno and Phil Varisco.

See you all next year!

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