More than 200 runners and their supporters gathered at the Hamburg Area High School Stadium on July 21 for the Run for Taylor, in memory of Taylor Nicole Seitzinger.
“I would just like to thank everyone for being here today,” said Tammy, Taylor’s mom, at the start of the race. “It’s because of you that we can keep our daughter alive and as a parent that is the greatest gift.”
The runners began by Hamburg Middle School and took off behind the motorcycle leading the back after Troy, Taylor’s dad, called for the start. The course went past the high school through a development, back past the start, up the hill on Pine Street, then back to the stadium, passing the scoreboard where Taylor’s name is and through the finish where their times were marked and tags pinned to the board.
As runner passed by lines of people encouraged and congratulated the runners throughout the run. Throughout the whole even DJ Thunder provided music, shirts and other items for the Run for Taylor were available for purchase as well as food and free water. There was also a kids race for children 10 and under. All proceeds go toward the run and the Taylor N. Seitzinger Memorial Fund.
“Great run today. Thank you for coming out,” said Troy before the awards ceremony.
Taylor was a high school senior who played soccer, basketball and was on the cross-country team as well as being a straight-A student, Homecoming Queen and student council vice-president. She passed away March 19, 2009. Even in her passing she was able to help three other individuals as an organ donor. Taylor was going to go to DeSales University after graduation to become a physician’s assistant and play soccer.
It was shortly after that the memorial fund was created to provide two yearly scholarships. This year Berks County Community Foundation awarded the scholarships in Taylor’s name to Elizabeth Kissinger, of Hamburg, and Amber Dietrich, of Strausstown.
“She inspired so many people in her short 18 years. And her spirit will be remember forever,” according to the Taylor Nicole Seitzinger website.
The annual 5K run/walk is a rain or shine event and was filled with many familiar faces from around the community.
“Taylor, thank you for getting me up those hills,” said Jackie Hoffman from radio station Y102, who took part in the race and also helped during the awards presentation.
After the first race event those involved hoped that it would be the first of many and have seen the race grow over the years and continue to be successful all around.
Troy posted on the Run for Taylor Facebook page after the race: “Wow what can I say but THANK YOU. Sue Phillips, committee, volunteers, runners, walkers, kids, sponsors, family and friends. Talon for leading the race on his bike. Everything was great. Taylor is smiling. It was a great day.”
See more photos at https://www.facebook.com/TheHamburgItem.