, Newburyport, MA

October 9, 2013

Thanks for supporting church fundraiser

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

The Alliance for the Restoration and Preservation of Point Shore’s Union Congregational Church would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers involved in making our June 8 fundraiser, the Mighty Merrimack River Run, such a success. In particular, we would like to recognize Linda Wallaga, Robert Courtney, Gloria and Bud Kuran, Lee Knapp, Hugh McCabe, Thomas Lloyd, Eli Bailin and Mike Shields for their respective contributions. We are truly grateful for their enthusiasm and willingness to help our cause. Without their support, we could not have made this event happen.

We would also like to acknowledge the generosity of our sponsors, in particular the Institution For Savings, without whose financial support this event would not have had such a positive outcome. Other sponsors include: The Greater Boston Running Company, Vision Max Cinema, Cinemagic, Sylvan Street Grille, Plum Island Kayak, Captain’s Fishing, Not Your Average Joe’s, Panera Bread, Acapulcos Restaurant, Leo’s Super Bowl, Hodgies Ice Cream, Amesbury Skate & Sport Shop, Stop & Shop, Amesbury Industrial Supply, and Sam’s Club.

In addition, we are very appreciative of the members of the Joppa Flats Running Club, in particular John Wile, Bob Manning and Mike Fiene, for timing the race. Rick Bayko of Yankee Runner was especially helpful in providing us with tips on how to conduct a first-class road race. And a special thanks to Larry Lingley of Gremlin Transportation, who donated his time to shuttle runners back to the parking area after the race. Once again the City of Amesbury, from the mayor on down, was very supportive of the road race, in particular the DPW, Parks and Recreation, police and fire departments. Sgt. Scholtz coordinated the planning of the event for the city, and his performance was first-rate. And we would also like to note the fine cooperation of DPW director Rob Desmarais, Wayne Capolupo of SPS New England and Gary Twombly. Finally, we cannot overlook Joan and Randy Baptiste, who graciously allowed us to use their field as a parking lot, and Roger and Duffy Duford for letting us erect tents on their lawn, which was adjacent to the finish line. These are all great people.

We are truly grateful that Enterprise Bank, in particular Art Santos, stepped up to sponsor 15 deserving students from Up Academy, Lawrence. Because of the bank’s civic-mindedness, these kids were able to escape the inner city for a day and participate in a meaningful life experience.

This was our second year conducting the race, and once again we were pleased with the great turnout. It rained early in the morning, but cleared in time for our 9 a.m. start, and the runners genuinely seemed to have a good time, despite having to meet the challenge of running up and over Swetts Hill. Antony Gitau was the overall winner and Laura Rudd was the top female. They survived Swetts Hill in grand style.

This event was another in a series presented by The Restoration Alliance. Our next is the 3rd annual Point Shore House Tour, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 19. Twelve houses never before seen on the tour will be open for viewing.

The Restoration Alliance is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, separate from the church, but dedicated to the preservation of this iconic 1835 neighborhood meeting house. With continued support from the greater Amesbury and Newburyport communities, the visage that has stood for 178 years at the confluence of the Merrimack River and the Powow River will endure, for the benefit of generations to come.

Joe Finn

The Alliance for the Restoration and Preservation of Union Congregational Church