06/25/15 12:00pm
JUDY CARD PHOTO | The start of a wet and wonderful Shelter Island day.

JUDY CARD PHOTO | The start of a wet and wonderful Shelter Island day.

Shelter Island is the perfect sport for distance runs, and not just for the physical beauty that runners race through, but for the spirit of those who turn out to cheer the athletes on their quest.

No records were set for the 36th annual running of the Island’s signature sporting event and weekend party, except if you count that it’s the first time the race was run in the rain.

Physical beauty, with the heavens opening up above the Island all afternoon? Yes. (more…)

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10/13/14 5:00pm
JOANN KIRKLAND PHOTO Race director Mary Ellen Adipietro (left) presented a bouquet of flowers to Ann Cronin at last year’s Shelter Island 5k.

JOANN KIRKLAND PHOTO
Race director Mary Ellen Adipietro (left) presented a bouquet of flowers to Ann Cronin at last year’s Shelter Island 5k.

When Ann Cronin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, one of the first calls she made was to Mary Ellen Adipietro, with whom she had been working for 10 years on the Shelter Island 5K Run/Walk to benefit the North Fork Breast Health Coalition and the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Southampton Hospital.

Another call went to Louise Clark on the race planning committee.
While Ms. Cronin hasn’t been helping to plan Saturday’s race, the 15th annual, it’s not because of health-related issues.

“I’m doing great,” she said.

“I’ll really miss it,” she said about the race during a telephone interview last week.

It has been a year since her first double dose of chemotherapy and she is among the fortunate who caught the presence of cancer early and could be a poster child for early detection. But what’s really critical, she said, is that she had a 3D mammogram at Southampton Hospital that revealed the cancer early enough to be successfully treated.

While she won’t be here Saturday, her sister, Dorothy Nolan, and cousin, Nancy Dickey, will be participating, Ms. Cronin said.

Ms. Adipietro and her team of volunteers — Patti Bumsted, Cliff Clark, Louise Clark, Betty Fogarty, Dede Gray, Gina Kraus, Linda Kraus, Ann Loeffler, Lisa Shaw and Linda Springer — have been working for several months, and if the forecast holds, runners and walker will see sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s Saturday.

The 5k Run/Walk begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Crescent Beach.

In addition to the major beneficiaries that share equally in the money raised, receipts from raffle tickets will support Lucia’s Angels, a foundation named for Lucia Terzi Bagan, who succumbed to breast cancer when she was just 47. Ms. Adipietro was among the founders of that organization to honor her friend and another of her former race volunteers.
Lucia’s Angels assists women with late-stage cancers with numerous needs as well as providing special wishes for terminal patients.

Raffle prizes include a gift certificates for various restaurants and shops; golf lesson with pros Robert DeStefano and Leigh Notley; gift baskets; and New Jersey Nets basketball tickets. Winners of tickets sold on Saturday must be present to claim their prizes.

Medals will go to the top finishers with results posted at www.auyertiming.com/results.php#. Awards will also go the first place breast cancer survivors in both the run and the walk. And a prize will be awarded to the team with most participants.

A free shuttle bus will be available for participants coming to Shelter Island by North Ferry. The bus will run from 9 to 10:15 a.m. from North Ferry to the staging area at Crescent Beach. After the race, buses will carry participants back to North Ferry until 1 p.m.

To register in advance, visit the race website at shelterislandrun.com/5k. Adult pre-registration through Thursday is $25 or $35 on race day. Registration for children 14 or younger is $10.

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06/25/13 7:56am

Mr. Murphy must have missed the boat Saturday. His infamous law was nowhere to be found before, during or after the 34th annual running of the Shelter Island 10K.

There were many opportunities for things to go wrong, but none did.

Murphy’s law was banished by a heroic community effort, where individuals, groups, the police department and town government worked seamlessly for the common good. They, along with the crowds of Islanders who showed up on a perfect summer day, and the inspiring athletes of all ages, levels and conditions, made it a day to remember.

The police department, under the direction of Chief James Read, did a remarkable job — aided by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police — of keeping everyone safe without ham-handed tactics. Compromising liberty for security is the national debate these days. On an albeit small, local level, the police department nevertheless showed how both ideals can work together with a minimum of friction.

Procedures were thought through before being implemented. Small things made big differences: For example, the idea to make the “goody bags” clear plastic eliminated countless searches that would have caused delays.

The department got the word out early and often about new security procedures so people knew what to expect. Everyone was aware of the security presence but no one was threatened by it.

Even the officers stopping traffic for inspections or directing motorists toward detours were courteous, informative and professional.

The sport of long distance running is done outside, and not in enclosed stadiums with digitized beer ads and a trip to the concession stand requiring a preliminary meeting with your bank manger. Shelter Island is perfect for the sport of distance races. Not just for the physical beauty, but for the spirit of those who turn out to cheer the athletes on their quest

Elsewhere in this edition of the Reporter you’ll read praise for Mary Ellen Adipietro, Dr. Frank Adipietro and Cliff Clark, the three individuals — along with hundreds of volunteers they led — who made Saturday happen. We’ll say it again: Thank you for your time and tireless work. Your community salutes you.

Joy
Three years before the first running of the 10K, an Islander stepped up and hasn’t stepped down until almost four decades later. Joy Bausman will resign as the volunteer CEO of the Red Cross chapter on Shelter Island. (See story, page 18.) Her dedicated service sets the bar high for all who will follow as volunteers, not only for the Emergency Medical Services, but any organization that benefits our community.

Ben Jones — no slouch at giving back, logging 31 years as an ambulance volunteer helping others in distress — had high praise for Ms. Bausman, calling her an inspirational leader who charted a “road map” to success for the chapter.

Ms. Bausman credited her mother — who was a volunteer for the Red Cross for 55 years — and other family members, who inspired her to give of herself to those in need.

We should remember Ms. Bausman, and her mother’s teaching, by doing.

06/21/13 8:00am

BOB DeSTEFANO

From my little perch on the 4th tee at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, I’ve watched all 34 of the 10K races running past. You see, I was a golf pro and Saturday was always our busiest day of the week. At that time in my life, my biggest worry about the event was getting my members home before the roads closed.

Now retired, I finally had time to see what’s happening the entire day of the race. Someone mentioned that a good story would be to follow the race director, Mary Ellen Adipietro, around on the day of the race. Good idea even if this happened to be the third day of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

I asked Mary Ellen’s permission to follow her all day. Now I realize she must still be laughing about me trying to follow her around. Although I learned a lot and truly enjoyed my day, it could have been the worst thing I ever said “yes” to in my life.

There was no way I could keep up with her pace and that doesn’t include the five miles she ran that morning before I joined her. As far as food, the only thing she ate all day was some kind of unappetizing dry bran flakes in a Ziploc in her overcrowded car. Not for me — eating is one of my joys. When Mary Ellen wasn’t looking, I was grabbing sandwiches, coffee and dessert.

With the amount of bases she touches in one day, next year someone should be appointed to do just what I did this year. I found out that just about everything that happens on the day of the race goes through her. Her phone never stops and she has to carry a phone charger around all the time.

Although she has many leaders in her volunteer group, I discovered her basic core group was James Eklund, Chuck Kraus and Cliff Clark. I had a chance to see all the leaders together in her final meeting at 11:30 a.m. in the gym, making sure everyone was on the same page.
In all, we counted about 150 volunteers who had to know their exact jobs and times. I couldn’t get over the fact that so many people would come together and volunteer their time. After looking at the beneficiaries of the race, I started to understand.

I observed her handling crisis after crisis with a polite and well-thought-out response for each. I admired how she laughed off the things that aggravated her and made sure she did not upset anyone.

The hub of all activity was the school gym. This was the spot where about 1,500 runners had to report to. They had to register and pick up their goody bags and enter a free raffle.

Ready for a list of things Mary Ellen had to contend with? It’s a partial list because of space, but she was involved in working with the helpers in the gym, police, medical crew, firemen, water stations, parking, trash, bathrooms, showers, set up and clean up, food, clocks, finish line, shuttle buses, speakers, music, radio broadcasts, kids run, stretching clinic, announcing, awards ceremony and the postrace party. And like I said, this just scrapes the surface.

Her husband, Dr. Frank Adipietro, the voice of the 10K, was constantly in touch with his wife regarding the next phase. Dr. Frank must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle back in the ‘60s. He kept the folks informed as to everything going on for hours as well as interviewing different interesting people. He was totally prepared and did a superb job all day.

Somehow, the two celebrities — Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers, the very best in the world of running — were also Mary Ellen’s responsibility. What an honor it was to have them on Shelter Island both running and talking to our youth. I couldn’t help but compare their presence to my sport, golf. The equivalent would be having a local golf tournament and both Annika Sorenstam and Jack Nicklaus showed up to play and talk to our people. Mary Ellen introduced me to everyone, but meeting Bill and Joan, was most definitely my day’s highlight.

Unfortunately, after describing her day, I will scare anyone from ever taking on this position. After 12 hours of not sitting down, not even to eat the food and drink I grubbed, I left Mary Ellen. It was 9:30 p.m. and she was at the post race party at SALT restaurant. You couldn’t miss her because she was the first person you would see when you arrived and she was still smiling, laughing and greeting runners. What a fantastic lady.

Thank you for a great day and if you are looking for a race director for next year, don’t call me. Please!

06/04/13 7:50am

FILE PHOTO | The Reach Within nonprofit will be an essential part of the Shelter Island 10K race.

When Karen Lawson heard about this year’s Shelter Island 10K theme, “Overcoming Obstacles,” she knew her “Reach Within” team had to be part of the June 15 event, especially at a time when the original “Reach Grenada” group, founded in 2008, is expanding to communities beyond that tiny Caribbean Island to help improve the emotional wellbeing of abused or abandoned children elsewhere in the region. The goal is to  reach out to more children, initially in the Caribbean and eventually globally, with support, training and wellness programs that will prove uplifting in the effort to help them overcome their obstacles.

Ms. Lawson credits Shelter Island 10K organizer Mary Ellen Adipietro and her team with generously including Reach Within among the beneficiaries of this year’s race. A team of 25 Reach Within runners, ranging in age from  11 to 60, are securing their own sponsorship, something they have done for the New York City Marathon. On the same day, Reach Within will be holding its Shelter Island Summer Soirée at the home of Patrick Parcells and Annbeth Eschbach in Dering Harbor.

It’s Reach Within’s most significant fund raiser this year, featuring a cocktail party and silent auction from 4 to 7:30 p.m. with winners of auction items to be announced at 7:45 p.m.

Ms. Lawson promises a menu of hors d’oeuvres created by Pierre Schaedelin of PSTailored Events, and beverages sponsored by Belvedere Vodka.

As for that silent auction, the 250 people who attend will be entering bids to purchase items including a trip to an Italian vineyard; a week-long trip to Grenada with a visit to the Belmont Estate cocoa plantation; and a day with the personal services of a celebrity stylist. Other items include a fishing trip and picnic luncheon in Southampton; a custom -built tree house constructed by Ms. Lawson’s brother, Chris Chabor; pet portraits; babysitting services; and a round of golf at Gardiners Bay Country Club.

Reach Within, which started as Reach Grenada, grew out of tragedy. Ms. Lawson and her late husband Bart Lawson always loved Grenada — the easy temperament of the people and the beauty of the island — she said. Mr. Lawson, who had been an advisor, particularly on health care issues, to former New York governors Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki, became an ambassador at large to Grenada and worked to improve the lives of children there. He spearheaded efforts to build playgrounds and other facilities that would stand as beacons of hope. At 54, Mr. Lawson was in Grenada to receive an award for his efforts when he succumbed to a heart attack.

His widow was determined to carry on his work and formed the New York-based  Bart J. Lawson Foundation for Children that runs Reach Grenada, an organization determined to keep her husband’s work alive.

“I’m not shy about asking,” Ms. Lawson said about her efforts to enlist friends to help with events so vital to keeping Reach Within funded. Besides launching various support programs for the children, the money goes to build libraries, improve homes and provide playgrounds in impoverished communities.

Most of all, Reach Within wants its volunteers to establish an emotional commitment and attachment to the children in the communities it serves. There hasn’t been a volunteer who hasn’t left Grenada in tears after participating in a project there, Ms. Lawson said.

She travels to Grenada four or five times a year for about a week at a time to oversee the projects under way there. And  she has a small crew of trained workers there and in Manhattan  who help to carry the administrative load for the organization. None are highly paid, Ms. Lawson said, determined that money be earmarked primarily for projects, not staff.

Tickets for the Shelter Island Summer Soirée are $250 for adults, $125 for children or $700 for families.  Call 212-605-0281 for more information or reserve your tickets at reachwithin.evenbrite.com.