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Dog Run

 

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ECHF is pleased to host this section for the Dog Run Corporation in gratitude for its financial support of ECHF projects.

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The Dog Run Corporation has grown into a huge success due to six friends that decided to ride their motorcycles as a group as they had done in the past, before marriage and children.  Before the days of responsibility, the friends were known as the 'Dog Boys' because of their hard attitudes and their bikes.  In August of 1989, the guys decided to get together with old friends and have a biker reunion.  Being that they were once known as the 'Dog Boys' and it was the "dog days" of summer, they decided to call the reunion the "Dog Run".

 

In the beginning, the Dog Run raised seven hundred dollars from collecting a fee to pay for a corn roast after the ride.  With the money left over, they donated the cash to the Windber Food Pantry.  At the end of the day, after donating money and having one heck of a good time, the friends decided to organize another event the following year.....and as the saying goes the rest is history.


In 20 years of organizing the Dog Run, the small group of friends have managed to raise more than $600,000 ... all profits have been donated to the community of Windber.  The money is donated to many different organizations each year and benefits all of the residents of Windber in one way or another.  During the First year the run had approximately 250 participants, mostly all friends of the 'Dog Boys'.  Today the run has grown and more than 10,000 people now make up average attendance.

We All Benefit

ParkMany organizations in the town have benefited from the Dog Run.  The civic groups that have prospered from the Dog Run are: the Windber Community Building, Windber Fire Co. No.1, the Windber Centennial Committee, the Windber Football Program, the Windber Library, Windber High School scholarship fund, the Windber Museum, the Youth Football League, Little League, Soccer League, Windber Sportsman's Club, Windber Scouting groups, Windber Recreation Park, Windber Stadium, Windber Cheerleaders, Scalp Level Paint Fire Department, Arcadia Theater, Windber Senior Citizens Center, Eureka Coal Heritage Foundation and Windber Hospice.

In addition to the civic groups, the Dog Run has also contributed to the beautification of Windber in many ways, such as: the erection of a 50 ft. flag pole to honor the WWII veterans, providing new Christmas decorations for the utility poles in the town, installation of a handicap-accessible playground (at Windber Recreation Park), a skate-boarders' park (Windber Recreation Park), the restoration of a Gazebo and contributed to the Miner's statue memorial (Miner's Park), and aided in the construction of a clock tower that houses an antique clock unique to Windber's heritage.  These beneficiaries are only some of the groups that have benefited from the Dog Run, there are more that are too numerous to list.

MinerFlagThe Dog Run Event

The Dog Run over the years has grown into a community-wide event.  Although it started with only six friends organizing a reunion, it now takes the efforts of the whole town to pull off the event.  Through the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers, this event is a huge success; even more astounding is the fact that no one person receives any money for their efforts, the only beneficiary is the Community of Windber.


The event is a two day affair starting with a pre-registration party Friday night which is held in downtown Winber.  This party is to give riders a chance to sign up for the 'run' in advance; also it gives participants an opportunity to have fun.  There is entertainment provided by local bands.  In addition to the entertainment, participants have to opportunity to eat and drink while buying their favorite Dog Run apparel.  Saturday morning starts off with registration which leads to a parade through the town and then on to a 96 mile ride through the mountains.  Riders can stop at different bars throughout the run to pull cards and have refreshments.  At the end of the ride, the best poker hand wins.  The prize is given away at the party that takes place Saturday evening at the Windber Recreation Park.  At the party participants can expect quality home made foods of many varieties, plenty of ice cold beer, several local bands, a fireworks display, a motorcycle giveaway, and bonfire.  Along with all the provided attractions, participants get a chance to catch up with old friends and have an overall good time.

motorcycle_2Community and Committee

The Dog Run is supported by many local government officials, such as Windber Mayor and Borough Council, The Windber Police Department, the Windber and Scalp Level/ Paint fire companys, The Pennsylvania State Police, House Representative Tom Yewcic, and many others.

Since recognition is the last thing that these six organizers want, their names were saved for last.  The original committee responsible for starting this event are:  Mike Hunter, Joseph Pallo, Joseph King, Jeffery ('Yuk) Gentile, David King, and James Sullivan.  The Dog Run committee has since expanded to include:  Jim Furmanchik, Kathy Lucas, Charlotte O'Hara, Bob Berkebile, Derek Hunter, Matt Lombardi, Jim Spinos, Barry Jerley and Brian Hunter.  If you don't catch them all sitting astride a Harley at each year's run, you can rest assured that they are all there in 'SPIRIT'.



Information furnished by Bob Berkebile, Dog Run Committee