JAY — Saturday the first Hollandstrong Summer Fest raised more than $5,000 for improvements at the Spruce Mountain High School athletic fields.

The festival was held in memory of Michael Holland, 25, of Wilton, one of 33 crew members who died aboard the SS El Faro, a cargo ship that sank in the Bahamas on Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin.

One of the immediate goals of the Hollandstrong Community Foundation is to build, in phases, a sports complex at Spruce Mountain High School, which abuts the middle school.

The festival kicked off with a 5K Run/Walk. 31 signed up for the race. There was one no show.

James Maddux-Bean and Lyn Chellis react as they near the finish line of the Hollandstrong Summer Fest 5K Run/Walk in Jay Saturday. The pair were the last to complete the race. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Evan Burnell, 17, was the fastest runner with a time of 0:21:01.3.

The fastest woman was Eryn Doiron, 20, with a time of 0:25:16.3.


Holland’s mother, Deb Roberts of Wilton, said she was excited to have 31 sign up for the race.

“Eryn was one of the first ever Hollandstrong scholarship recipients. It’s really cool that she won,” Roberts said.

Lyn Chellis participated in a run/walk event for the first time Saturday. She was the last female to cross the finish line with a time of 1:07:55.2.

“I’ve never walked this far. I’m happy with it. I’m going to try more of these,” she said afterwards.

At the first Hollandstrong Summer Fest held in Jay Saturday, Poppy Medini of Wilton was one of several youth who enjoyed a sugared donut. (Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Further up the hill the Cornhole Tournament was in progress. 22 two-member teams were competing in the double elimination tournament.

Roberts said she was thankful for the many volunteers.

“This wouldn’t have happened without them. It’s definitely a community effort,” she said.

Several other events were scheduled throughout the day including a barbecue and horseshoe tournament at noon. There was a raffle, craft and vendor tables and food vendors set up too.


Comments are no longer available on this story