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The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, June 1, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. In attendance were Boyd Brumbaugh, Jim Taylor, Marty Klanchar, Amy Paster, Jeremy Zidek, John Domico, his daughters Claire and Rebecca, and his guest Joe Faulkner, and Marty and Andy Mazur. Hi-Way ran out of green olives (!), so could not serve us the NVRC-special pepperoni, onion, and green olive pizza. We settled for black olives. It's a good thing there was plenty of Red Hook Ale on tap!

The big topic of the evening was the proposed establishment of a special donor relationship between Centre Volunteers In Medicine (CVIM) and the NVRC. I know what you're thinking...some of our members are old enough to be "donors", but that's not it! CVIM is a group of health professionals that has established a clinic to give various kinds of medical and dental care to the working poor in our area. John Domico proposed that the NVRC adopt CVIM, one of the Centre Region's most worthy charities, as one of the NVRC's prime beneficiaries. John brought along Joe Faulkner, who is on the Board of Directors of CVIM and also has contacts with Mount Nittany Medical Center, our local hospital. John ran the Boston Marathon in 2003 to benefit CVIM and raised a god deal of money. This year, he helped organize two teams that ran the Boston Marathon, raising over $15,000 (and still counting!). Now John wants to bring the fundraising closer to home, hoping that an established local race with more local involvement would raise even more money. After some discussion, the group quickly fixed on the First Night Resolution Run 5K, whose current beneficiary is Mount Nittany Medical Center. Joe Faulkner thinks that it would not be too difficult to persuade Mount Nittany Medical Center to help us sponsor the race with CVIM as the prime beneficiary, since Mount Nittany benefits greatly from CVIM's existence and lends them significant material help as it is. The First Night race is an ideal choice, because it is an established race with over 400 runners. It is the kind of race (like the Boalsburg Memorial Day affair) that is not just for regular runners, but involves the entire community (and a significant number of outsiders), is associated with a significant community event (First Night), and can easily grow and attract many more sponsors. After some enthusiastic discussion of John's proposal, it was decided to pursue the idea further. Joe Faulkner will discuss it with CVIM and with his contacts at Mount Nittany. Joe seems eager to help grow the race to over 1000 runners in the near future.

The next business item was growing the Club. Jeremy, who became a new member at the meeting, is full of ideas that we hope to pursue. First Jeremy, fresh from his finish in a Vermont marathon, wants to get an NVRC marathon going. Though we had one here for a couple of years in the mid-80s, and it bowed to the better attended Half-Marathon, that was then and this is now. Jeremy would like to do some leg work (figuratively) and see if we can't get one going in the next couple of years. Closer to the present, Jeremy had some fresh ideas about publicizing the existence of the Club and increasing membership, and some new ideas for our web site. Look for the NVRC to become more visible soon. And keep an eye on the web site, which over the next few months will sport some improvements. (There are already some there!)

Two specific web site ideas were discussed briefly. These were having some coaching and injury clinic pages on the site, and a "newbie runner" page (advice, dos and don'ts, etc.). We will probably start this by simply reviewing the many good pages out there already and collecting some of them in groups of organized links. We can later add some of our own wisdom to these pages, as was done for the Race Director's pages on our site.

We also talked about reviving Club coaching and clinics. We hope to say more about this soon. And we also brought up increasing the Club's visibility by sponsoring NVRC teams to compete in various races. Though this has been done to some degree (many of the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK teams are effectively NVRC teams, and the Old Fartleks are as well), we have not done it in any official capacity.

Late in the meeting, we got a report on progress in this year's Arts Festival 10K planning. The new course is laid out, pending final PSU approval. You can see it on our newly unveiled Arts Fest Race Pages (http://www.nvrun.com/af.html). The course is significantly changed (and more scenic) this year, spending most of its miles on the new West Campus.

Finally, we adjusted the dues schedule for multi-year members, fixing rates for 5-year individual and family memberships, and 10-year family memberships. These are new membership categories this year.

Next Meeting: August 3.