The first running of the Paul Skeffington Memorial Race took place on June 11th, 1988. It was started by the family of Paul Skeffington, a popular local businessman, who passed away in January of 1988. At that time, I was the Director of the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce Chamber so when the family asked for ideas for a memorial we proposed a race/run/walk with proceeds to go towards community projects. Paul had been an avid walker and huge supporter of the community, so this seemed like a natural fit. So how did we “run a race”? Well, with the help of a group of runners, along with the Skeffington family, other volunteers, and business sponsors we put on a race that had 330 participants…but who would have thought that 31 years later the race would still be running!!! Over the years, this race, under the direction of a hardworking group of volunteers, has grown in popularity. The postrace party has evolved into a community, family friendly event. In fact, this will be the first time our postrace party will be listed on the Tunes in Town schedule and promoted as the only Saturday night concert with music by Wild Oatz, food by the DeWitt Nite Lions, and a beer garden sponsored by Hall of Fame Pizza & Wings & Scott Drug. You can find additional information on our web site http://skeffrace.com/
And true to its original mission, the Paul Skeffington Memorial Race continues to support improvement projects for our community. The race annually provides two $500 scholarships to Central DeWitt High School seniors. The race has also made significant contributions to DeWitt Parks and Recreation projects that include a $30,000 donation towards the new bridge at Westbrook Park and $25,000 for the Paul Skeffington Memorial Trail expansion that will be part of this year’s race course. I was actively involved with the race for the first 10 years. At that point in time, I felt it was time for new leadership and stepped back. Three years ago, I was approached to serve as the race director – Thinking back to the legacy of Paul, his commitment and support of the community and to fitness, I found myself saying yes…And I also found that some things haven’t changed. The race is still organized by an excellent group of volunteers. The Fun Run is still FREE and we’ve gone back to having a bike give away for the youngsters who take part. And the cost of the race has stayed the same since the first one which is due to the phenomenal sponsorship support we get from area businesses! And post party keeps evolving into a community gathering of runners, walkers, spectators, with family friendly events, food, and FREE entertainment!
I moved to DeWitt in 1977 as a newlywed and I’ve never looked back. DeWitt has Delivered my hometown…it’s where my 3 kids were all born and raised. It’s where I had the opportunity to help DeWitt grow while serving as the first full time Executive Director of the DeWitt Chamber and Development Corporation. I’ve served on numerous local, state, and national boards that helped keep DeWitt in the spotlight. I’ve traveled the world but always look forward to coming back to DeWitt, my home.