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The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, February 3, at the HiWay Pizza on Westerly Parkway. The meeting also featured the awards presentation for the 2008 NVRC Racing Series. Present were Marty Klanchar, Jerry Steffy, Dave Eggler, John Wilcock, Kim Gasper, Alissa Popovich, Denise Weaver, Cheryl Capone and her son Brian, Mike Casper and his son Evan, Boyd Brumbaugh, Paul Lammert, Tom Cali, Kristen Houser, Executive Director of Centre Volunteers in Medicine, Leslie Jackson and Steve Cohen, George Etzweiler, Pam Scott, and Marty Mazur.

While the Race Series honorees filtered in, Mike Casper gave some news regarding the mOUnTaiNBACK. The race raised over $5000 for CVIM and a check was presented to Kristen Houser. Mike also gave some plaques to honor the top fundraisers among the runners. These included George Etzweiler (Top Male Contributor), Pam Scott (Top Female Contributor), Tom Cali of Thor Legth (Top Mixed Team Fundraiser), and Alissa Popovich of AE Ladies (Top Women's Team Fundraiser), among those present. John Domico brought up some new fundraising opportunities for runners who want to support CVIM, particularly for those who haven't qualified to run Boston. This would include teams for the Pittsburgh Marathon. And Kristen Houser thanked the Club for our continuing support, and invited anyone to drop by for a tour of the clinic in its new home. The beneficiary of the 2009 mOUnTaiNBACK will again be CVIM.

Jerry and Dave mentioned that the IRS has been giving us (and nearly all running Clubs that claim tax-exempt status because of their affiliation with the Road Running Clubs of America) trouble. We are a PA tax-exempt organization, but we have some hoops to jump through to satisfy the Feds, or pay taxes.

Mike Casper mentioned that the Spring Jeremy Herbstritt Memorial 5K will be held on campus on Thursday Evening, April 16. The race will be directed by Julie Grubb.

Leslie Jackson was there to tell us about a proposal she has to collect used running shoes for donation to the poor in this country and other countries as well. She is doing this under the umbrella of an organization Soles4Souls, which has coordinated shoe relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami, and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. She is going to talk to Rapid Transit Sports about their being a central drop-off point for shoe collection. She wants our help in getting out the word, and in possibly having some shoe collection opportunities at races, etc.

Before the pizza came, we had the Awards Presentation for the 2008 NVRC Race Series. This year was the first such competition in decades. Marty Mazur and John Wilcock organized the event with help from many in the Club. John Wilcock was the Stat Geek Extraordinaire, keeping tabs on the Series and keeping the membership regularly informed.

In the Race Series, all Club members can earn points toward the year end awards by participating in races and winning overall and age group awards at races. The Series is set up to give regular race participants as good a shot at an award as the Club's top runners. The formula seemed to work well this year. Regular race winners such as Tom Cali and Martha Nelson were in the mix all year with even more regular race runners (and occasional age group winners) like Denise Weaver and Pam Scott. In the end, Tom Cali won the top award. For his exertions, Tom got a really snazzy fleece warmup jacket embroidered with the NVRC logo. Second place went to Denise Weaver, who got a handy embroidered Under Armor gym bag. Third place went to Martha Nelson, who got an spiffy embroidered cap. All winners got an award certificate.

The Volunteer of the Year (Decade, Century) was, of course, Dave Eggler, who times dozens of races a year, is the Club Treasurer, and also directs the Half-Marathon, First Night, and co-directs the Arts Fest race. Dave got a warm, snugly embroidered fleece jacket to keep him warm as he stands in the cold drizzle, clicking. Dave announced that he is retiring from future competitions, but John Wilcock will tabulate and publish his points all the same as a kind of benchmark for all future aspirants. Second place went to the indefatigable Mike Casper, director of the Linden Hall Loop, Crack O' Dawn 5K and the mOUnTaiNBACK Relay and Ultra and related events. Mike got a nice, embroidered Under Armor bag. Third place was a tie between Christine Rice, a regular Club volunteer, and NVRC Propaganda Minister Marty Mazur. They got embroidered caps. All top volunteers got a certificate.

Information about the Race Series, including last year's tallies, this years Series and participation rules, are available on the web site at http://nvrun.com/index.php/racing/nvrc-race-series

There was no small interest in the embroidered prizes. RTS did a really nice job. Maybe some of the items will be offered for sale to Club members. But, if you want the extra bit of embroidery about the Race Series, you'll have to earn it! The competition is fun. Join in!

Here are links to slideshows of the presentations we did at the meeting. The first is to the presentation of the check to CVIM and the presentation of awards to the top fundraisers for CVIM at the mOUnTainBACK. The second is to the NVRC Race Series Awards.

Presentation of 2008 Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK Donation to CVIM
2008 NVRC Race Series Awards

Next Meeting: April 7.