AMHERST – Witches, mummies, zombies and pumpkins gathered at Dickey Park Saturday evening to run in the 5-km Pumpkin Run to help raise money for the YMCA.
Event organizer Paul Giroux was very impressed with the turnout.
“Right now, there’s about 180, the last bib number they gave out, and they still have people lined up. I only expected 100,” he said. “This is just awesome. We’re probably closing in on a $3,000 donation to the YMCA.”
With people, and creatures, still rolling in for the run, Giroux said he was getting a little nervous about not having enough medals, and pumpkin pie, for each participant.
Donna Scott brought her daughter with her to the run. The pair dressed up to add a little haunted excitement to their favorite activity.
“It’s really great for the town to see such a good crowd out,” she said. “We wouldn’t miss it.”
Her daughter, Olivia Scott, couldn’t wait to come out to the run. She said she has been training for the 5-km run and couldn’t wait to come out and see all the different costumes. She said it’s all for a good cause.
“I’m dressed as a skeleton,” she said. “I found this makeup and costume in my house in my basement but I wanted to be a pumpkin.”
YMCA CEO Trina Clarke was very happy with the turnout. She said she is very excited to be getting even closer to reaching the goal of the Capital Campaign. Right now, she said the YMCA is about $50,000 away from reaching their goal.
“We’re all just ecstatic. The Mad Hatter,” she said referring to her costume, “even came to the tea party. We’re blown away, especially it being the run’s first time. This is the best tea party ever.”
Participants in the run started with one lap around Dickey Park before doing two laps through East Pleasant, Willow, Townsend, Charles and back on to East Pleasant before doing one final lap through Dickey Park.
The run raised just over $2,000 for the YMCA's Capital Program. Organizer Paul Giroux said he is already planning for another Pumpkin Run next year on Oct. 26.