Harnessing Hope 5K event to feature new award

The board of directors of the Team Kass Foundation has announced their inaugural Harnessing Hope Award, a writing award planned to coincide with their second fundraising race, the Harnessing Hope 5K Run/Walk, scheduled for Oct. 18, at Hughesville High School.

The run/walk, in memory of Kathleen Paternostro Morgan, is a 3.1-mile loop that includes a stadium finish inside of the Hughesville High School football stadium.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers, as well as the top male and female finisher in four additional age categories.

“We are very excited to announce our first-ever writing award,” said Krista L. Paternostro, chairman of the Team Kass board. “We are looking for inspirational stories from our runners and walkers about why they run. Last year during our inaugural race, we read and listened to many stories that were shared that day that reminded us of what we already knew: most people run with a greater purpose in their heart. Before this year’s race, we will recognize one 5K participant who may never win a medal, but who runs anyway, with hope in their heart. We will bring their stories into the light through this annual award. We are also thrilled to have local support in this new venture from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and the Susquehanna Health Cancer Center. Both have agreed to promote this initiative. Their support means so much to us. We continue to explore ways that we can give back to those in the area who are currently undergoing cancer treatment. We are fortunate to have the resources and services available through the SH Cancer Center right here in our own backyard. Through our Foundation, we want to continue to be an advocate and a partner within the cancer community.”

“The Susquehanna Health Cancer Center is honored to support the second annual Harnessing Hope 5K Run/Walk. Kass’ emphasis on hope during her battle with cancer is inspiration to us all. Cancer may have started this battle … but together with hope, faith, family, friends, and love, we will finish it,” said Michelle Gaida, executive director, cancer services, Susquehanna Health.

“Throughout her life, Kass taught us to never lose hope no matter what life brings. She showed us by her example that having hope provides strength, having hope reinforces courage and having hope makes all things possible, even in the face of uncertainty.

During her cancer fight, Kass reminded us time and time again that no matter what, ‘everything will be OK.’ It is in recognition of her strength, courage and love that we have created this award,” Paternostro said.

The winning entry will be published in a future edition of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and featured on the Team Kass Foundation website, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

The winner also will receive a commemorative Harnessing Hope Medal and a cash prize. Submission deadline is Sept. 5. Award criteria and guidelines, registration details and a course map may be found at teamkass.com/harnessing-hope-5k-runwalk/.

There is a cost per runner/walker and includes a race bib and timing chip and a race T-shirt. On-site registration is available at a higher cost, but a race T-shirt is not guaranteed. Virtual runners, those unable to attend the event in person, also may register to support the event.

Proceeds from the race support the Kathleen Paternostro Morgan Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in her memory and presented annually to selected graduates of Hughesville High School.