Fun run/walk to perpetuate Mary Preston's legacy at Kent Y

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Mary K. Preston would approve.

On Monday, Oct. 8 the Kent County YMCA will hold the first Mary K. Preston Family Run Run/Walk at the Y campus on Centerville Road with all proceeds to benefit the Y’s swim lesson fund.

A Y employee, Mary, who lost her life in a water-related accident at the Y on June 8, 1995, still has a big presence at the Y. She was 28 years old. Her devotion to the principles of the Y and to helping others is remembered. A memorial and garden bearing her name stand at the Y.

But Y director Julie Casimiro thought more could be done to recognize Mary’s legacy and carry it forward; to bring it alive and make it meaningful to future generations.

That gave birth to a swim lesson fund to assist families who can’t afford swim lessons. Casimiro’s goal is to raise $10,000 that can be tapped when needed for families and children. Naturally, if more can be raised that would even be better.

Planned for the Monday Columbus Day holiday is a fun run starting at 1 p.m. followed by a walk at 1:30 p.m. There will be music and Casimiro said Dave and Busters would be doing some giveaways. Both Y members and non-members are urged to bring a picnic and enjoy the Y grounds. Playgrounds will be open for the kids and people will be welcome to explore the wooded trails of the Y property.

Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Brosnan, and the Preston family are working to make the event a success.

Brosnan is seeking to sign on sponsors and notes that the fund goal can be attained if 100 people can each raise $100. The eight-week swim costs about $100.

Coincidentally, a fact Casimiro didn’t learn of until reviewing plans for the event with a reporter, the date of the family fun run/walk, coincides with Mary’s birthday.

“She was part of the fabric of the community,” Casimiro said of Mary. She said since planning the event Mary’s friends from years ago have learned of the fund and are anxious to help.

While she didn’t know of Mary personally, Casimiro said Mary was known as the “pied piper of her program” and her enthusiasm had a reputation for being contagious.

Mary was the director of the pre-school and teen program at the Y.

The cost for the event is $30 for those 13 years old and older and $20 for children 12 and under and $40 for all families on race day. Participants raising $100 or more will receive a free MKP T-shirt.

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