WEST PARIS — More than 230 runners from Oxford Hills participated in the second annual Agnes Gray Elementary School Pumpkin Run on Oct. 19, raising thousands of dollars for school programs.

It included a 5K race, mile walk and 1-mile fun run, which attracted more than 55 schoolchildren. They ran across the finish line to the cheers of a large crowd of proud parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and neighbors.

“This year’s Pumpkin Run raised over $4,000 for the PTO, and the fourth-graders have already gone on an overnight trip to Bryant Pond 4-H camp with funds from this event,” PTO member Joanne Brown said.

The fun run not only provides a healthy activity for children but raises money for student programs and classroom materials not in the SAD 17 budget. Last year’s race raised enough money to send third- and fourth-grade students on a day trip to the Museum of Science in Boston for the first time.

Brown said this year each child took home a pumpkin donated by the Swain Family Farm in Bethel for completing the race.

For the 5K and mile-walk participants, Wendy Newmeyer of Maine Balsam Fir Products created a one-of-a-kind, handmade balsam pillow as an award for completing the event.


The top three female finishers were Isabel Chase of Bethel, with a time of 22:31; Leanne Candura, 22:58; and Morgan Letourneau of Norway, 23:54. The top three male finishers were Nate McNutt of West Paris, with a time of 18:04; Jacob West of Otisfield, 18:35; and Buster Brown, 20:02.

All top finishers received a West Paris Pumpkin Run balsam pillow from Maine Balsam Fir Products.

Brown said the participants had lunch at the Pumpkin Run’s chili and pumpkin pie cook-off.

Chad Stearns of West Paris took home first place for the best chili, with Colton Kimball, also of West Paris, a close runner-up. Lissa Merrill of West Paris made a pumpkin pie which took home the award for top dessert.

Sponsors for the event included Grover Gundrilling, Bancroft Contracting Corp., Crullea Designs, Maine Balsam Fir Products, AAH Fireworks, Cooper Farms, Tri-Town Ambulance and Emergency Rescue Service, Rising Sun Cafe and Bakery and Crazy Horse Racing Parts and Engines.

Also, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Leslie B. Otten, Swain Family Farm, Hill Top Pools and Spas, TJ the DJ, Rough and Tumble, Cafe Nomad, Olympia Sports, New Balance, Fare Share Co-op, Bethel Bicycle and True North Adventureware.

Also, Wal-Mart, Bill’s Auto Transport, Hannaford, DiamondCut Jewelers, Mallard Mart, Poland Spring, Mountain View Dentistry, Green Gardens, Responsible Pet Care, J. Boyce Builders, Paris Cape Realty and Bernard Newell Trucking.

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