The following was published
in the May 8, 2009 edition of the Register Star.
Roger F. Coleman – Publisher
Theresa E. Hyland – Executive Editor
Sean’s Run can only get bigger, better
May 8, 2009 - It may have been a
hot one on April 26, but that did not deter the 1,371 people who
registered to walk/run the 8th Annual Sean’s Run. No matter
the weather, Sean’s Run has been a fixture in the Chatham
community since the first one in April 2002.
This year had close to 300 more registrants than last
year; each year more and moe sign up to run/walk. There were also
new raffles prizes this year, including the Grand Prize of a watercolor
painting, “A Right Way to Heaven,” created by painter
Tom Warner, a runner himself, who was inspired after last year’s
Of course the event also included the popular fourth
annual World Championship Battle of the Belts and for the second
year, Meghan’s Mile. Several schools and youth organizations
again received grant money to implement programs designed to encourage
teenagers to use seat belts.
We must not forget, though, why Sean’s Run event
exists. While it has provided a wonderful opportunity for seat belt
and drinking and driving awareness, it is also a reminder of the
sad loss of Chatham track star Sean French.
In the early minutes of January 1, 2002, the accident
that killed Sean, paralyzed Ian Moore, sent Paul DiCosmo to the
hospital and led to the arrest of driver Kristopher Goodrich, is
a frightening reminder of the deadly and paralyzing dangers of drinking
and driving, as well as not wearing your seat belt. It was reported
that not a single seat belt was being worn.
That single accident changed the lives of four young
men and their families, as well as this community, forever.
Not in conjunction with Sean’s Run, but in the
same vein, a town hall meeting was held at Chatham High School April
23 urging parents not to be party to teenage drinking as part of
the Parents Who Host Lose the Most: Don’t Be a Party to teenage
Drinking, a national public awareness campaign developed by the
Drug-Free Action Allicance in 2000.
New York State police Lt. Gene Hallenbeck said during
the meeting, “Every yer, Sean’s Run should act as a
reminder of what could happen and the need for parents and children
to make the right choice.”
The most important result is Sean’s Law, a bill
signed into law by former Governor George Pataki on September 27,
2002, which allows for a judge to immediately suspend the junior
learner’s permit or junior license of a driver on their first
court appearance after being charges with DWI or DWAI.
From tragedy was born a truly inspirational community
event, which only gets bigger and better each year. And to this
we say congratulations to the organizers, volunteers, and participants
of this year’s Sean’s Run and good luck in preparing
for the 9th Annual event.