OSWEGO, NY – On April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oswego Middle School track, 100 Mark Fitzgibbons Drive, the Oswego Buccaneer track and field teams will host a first of its kind event in Central New York, the inaugural Laps for Limbs.
Open to community members of all ages, Laps for Limbs is a special event to raise awareness and funds for Move Along, Inc., an organization that assists individuals of all ages with physical disabilities with the opportunity to be engaged with recreational activities, gain life skills and adapt to their conditions.
Established in Buffalo in 2012, Laps for Limbs is the realization of an idea by Kristen Smith a physical therapist with Oswego Health.
“I’ve always been interested in helping amputees and those with physical disabilities; it’s why I chose to be a physical therapist. I began Laps for Limbs as a way to raise awareness of the challenges that amputees and those with physical disabilities face. Since the first Laps for Limbs event, which was held in Buffalo in 2012, we have recorded 3,178 laps (794.5 miles) and raised $22,800 for children and veterans with amputations and physical disabilities,” explained Smith.
Building upon its success of Laps For Limbs Smith felt it was time to bring the event to Central New York.
One day while running with Cathy Celeste, assistant coach for the buccaneer’s girls’ track and field team, Celeste mentioned she would like to have her team become involved more in their community.
Smith saw this as a perfect opportunity introduce Celeste to Laps for Limbs and the possibility of hosting the event.
“Celeste, along with girls’ track and field head coach Meghan Smith, boys’ track and field head Coach Jeff Gordon, and assistant head coach Dan Greene saw Laps for Limbs as a great opportunity for their teams to interact with the community for a worthy cause. As a result, we decided to come together to host the inaugural Laps for Limbs event in Central New York at the Oswego Middle School track,” explained Smith.
Rather than a typical road race where participants are scattered throughout a designated course, Laps For Limbs features a format that keeps both participants and supporters together without having to deal with hills and potholes.
Beginning at 10 a.m. participants can sign up for a one-hour time slot beginning at their choice of 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or noon.
Participants, who have solicited sponsors either per lap or a flat donation, will then walk, run or roll as many quarter mile laps as they can within their hour. The money raised during Laps For Limbs will benefit Move Along, Inc.
Smith was introduced to Move Along when she served as a volunteer for the organization.
She was impressed by Move Along’s encouragement of inclusion, its goal of providing adaptive recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, and its programs such as recreational basketball, sled hockey, and hand cycling.
“I love adaptive equipment for mobility and recreation. It’s one of my passions and it makes our Laps for Limbs a perfect fundraising vehicle for Move Along,” said Smith.
Greg Callen, founder of Move Along Inc. said that the increased awareness of the challenges faced by amputees and those with physical disabilities and the opportunities afforded them is a vital part of Laps For Limbs.
“It’s great to have entire teams and school districts involved in this event. It’s important to have youth learn about breaking down barriers of ignorance through inclusion. We wish to impress upon them that it’s not about competition; it’s about the award of having the opportunity to participate. We want to create that feeling within them and have them spread the word to their family and friends. There are many values and lessons to be learned from Laps For Limbs that can effectively breakdown barriers and eliminate actions that can be detrimental to the quality of life for amputees and those with physical disabilities,” said Callen.
The Laps For Limbs fundraising event for Move Along, Inc., will be April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, registration and sponsorship forms, contact Move Along, Inc. at 315-350-1726 and follow Laps For Limbs on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LapsforlimbsCNY?fref=ts)