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Founders Plan To Step Back From Laurel Run

‘So Fortunate’

Wayne and Elaine Hotelling at Monday night’s Silver Creek Village Board meeting. Submitted photo

SILVER CREEK — Before making a major announcement, Wayne and Elaine Hotelling — the creators of the annual Laurel Run — came before the Village Board this week to report on the success of the event and thank the Village Board and other officials for their help every year, including this year’s iteration, which marked the 26th run.

“I want to thank the DPW, the Fire Department,” said Wayne Hotelling. “The security we’ve had from the Fire Police and Fire Department, they’ve always been so gracious and so helpful in maintaining the security and the safety of the people that we have here.”

Hotelling said the security they receive from the Sheriff’s Department and the local police departments from Jamestown, Dunkirk, and Falconer, and the State Police have been pivotal for the success of the event. “We have been so fortunate in the 26 years that nothing has happened,” said Hotelling. “But that’s one fear I have is that something is going to take place between the parents and the people that provide the safety. It’s something that wouldn’t happen. The Laurel Run would not take place without all the volunteers and the support of the Village, County, and everybody else.”

He then said he and his wife will be stepping back from the Run after this year, noting how wiped out they were after this year’s event.

“There are so many things involved that we just can’t do all of it anymore,” said Hotelling.

While the couple will still be heavily involved in the event, Wayne Hotelling said they have a few people lined up to help out. Those people are Ray Graf, Amy Seiders, and Densil Wilson, who have each been more heavily involved the last few years as the Hotellings have been pondering this decision for the last few years.

In addition to Seiders, Wilson, and Graf, the folks at The Resource Center and Filling the Gap will also take on more of the responsibility. Steve Waterson of the Resource Center said that while it will be immensely difficult to replace Wayne and Elaine’s full contributions, everything should still be well positioned.

“They’ve been getting more involved with it the last couple years and they should be very well positioned to take over more things that Wayne and Elaine do,” Waterson said. “Then in addition, staff at the Resource Center and Filling the Gap will be taking over more of those functions Wayne and Elaine have done as well.”

Waterson said everything Wayne and Elaine Hotelling have done for the Laurel Run, from their first effort when they began their 420-mile quest to the Mississippi border in 1997 to carrying on the legacy today has been a monumental achievement and he’s proud to see it continue as it has today.

“They’ve poured so much of themselves into the event and it would not be nearly as successful or as popular without their personal touch and effort,” said Waterson. “I won’t say it’ll be impossible to fill their shoes but it’ll be difficult and we’re happy to have Ray, Amy, and Densil, who are very well equipped.”

Silver Creek Mayor Jeff Hornburg, who helped sell the special edition Dunkirk OBSERVERs to support the Laurel Run, said he looks forward to the Laurel Run every year and is happy that it is continually successful.

“I’m glad it was successful again,” said Hornburg. “I look forward to doing it again next year. It was a pleasure as it always is.”

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