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Chester County Press

Run2Shine, Inc. presents $5K each to three beneficiaries

11/22/2016 02:57PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

On the morning of Oct. 15, nearly 700 runners lined up at the start of the first Mushroom Cap 13.1 half marathon at the Kennett High School football field. It was cold, the sun had just begun to pop over the famous water tower, and each competitor knew he or she was about to face the challenge of steep slopes and never-ending roads.
Many competed in order to test their endurance and better personal times, but whether or not they were aware, they were also running for another purpose: To assist hundreds of citizens in southern Chester County. On Nov. 15, the aches and pains they endured were all for a great purpose.
Run2Shine, Inc., the fundraising wing of the Mushroom Cap 13.1, donated $5,000 each to three  beneficiaries: The Garage Community & Youth Center, Family Promise of Southern Chester County and The Genesis Employee Foundation, at its gala celebration held at the Marketplace at Kennett Square.
Run2shine, Inc. founders Sarah Nurry and Karen DiMascola launched the idea for the Mushroom Cap 13.1 more than a year ago, soon after they completed a half marathon together.
“We had both finished a race, and we were sitting in the field, and we left longing for a better half marathon,” Nurry told the audience of over 100 who attended the celebration. “We thought, 'Why not do it in Kennett Square, where we both live, because it's beautiful?' Our idea turned into a dream and because of everyone in this room, it turned into a great event.”
Nurry said that the organizations were selected on the basis of their ability help families overcome hardships.
Kristin Proto, executive director for the Garage Community & Youth Center, said the gift will support the Garage's after-school academics program, which includes tutoring, homework help, use of the computer labs, and support of additional studies.
“We are immensely grateful to the Mushroom Cap team, not only for all of their hard work in putting this community event together, but for their support of the students – both at the Kennett Square and the West Grove locations – as well as the after-school programs we provide to nearly 500 students each,” Proto said.
Joanne Lippert spoke on behalf of The Genesis Employee Foundation, who disperses $850,000 every year to over 700 employees who are facing a variety of hardships, including domestic violence, medical emergencies and natural disasters.
“This money will go to help a lot of people who are facing hard times, and we are really appreciative,” Lippert said.
“There ware approximately 400 school-age children who experience homelessness in southern Chester County, so Family Promise was born on Nov. 1, 2015, when we accepted our first family, and it's been a whirlwind ever since,” said Susan Minarchi, executive director of Family Promise of Southern Chester County, who helps children and their families experiencing homelessness to achieve lasting self-sufficiency and stability by providing shelter, meals, and comprehensive support services.
“We are very grateful for these funds, in celebrating our first-year anniversary,” Minarchi added. “The are really, really helpful and will allow us to serve many, many more families in the next year.”
Kennett Run race director J.J. Simon, who competed with his wife at the half marathon, said that he already sees the Mushroom Cap 13.1 as a future partner with the Kennett Run. 
“We're calling the Mushroom Cap. 13.1 our 'Sister' race,” said Simon. “They were aiming for success, and they definitely got it on the race date. The weather turned out to be fantastic, and my eyes were peeled to see where the first-time race could be improved, and everything they did logistically was perfect. It started on time. There was good spirit.
“I was happy that they were able to put so much permanency so quickly into their race,” Simon added. “It's not like they have to do anything differently next year. They did it all in one shot.”
Nurry and DisMascola also thanked the half marathon's many sponsors, including Victory Brewing Company for serving as the chief sponsor.
“Thank you, Victory, for taking a leap of faith and helping to make the run possible,” Nurry said.
Food and beverages were provided by Kaboburritos, the State Street Grill, M n M Catering and the Paradocx Winery.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].