The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA of Talbot County Announce Joint 10-Mile Fundraiser Race and Post-Race Celebration

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Easton, Maryland – February 1, 2010 – The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA of Talbot County announce the Frederick Douglass Honor Society/YMCA of Talbot County 10 Mile Race and Celebration scheduled for May 1, 2010.

The Race is two-fold. First, it will allow participants to retrace the 10-mile route Frederick Douglass walked from St. Michaels to his confinement at the Talbot County jail in Easton, MD after a failed escape attempt in April 1836. Walkers, runners and wheelchair athletes will retrace this path to raise monies for the creation of a memorial to honor Frederick Douglass on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn, celebrating both the triumph and achievements of this great American. Frederick Douglass (born circa 1818 into slavery in Talbot County, MD – died as a free man on February 20, 1895 in Washington, D.C.) is one of the most prominent figures in African American and United States history. His imprisonment at the jail set the stage for a sequence of events that led to his eventual escape to freedom, accomplishments that changed history and also for extensive improvements in the lives of all Americans.

Pam Black, PR liaison for the Frederick Douglass Honor Society remarks, “Erecting a statue in the county of Frederick Douglass’ birthplace will further the respect and honor already afforded to this distinguished American who was a man of great accomplishment: abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.”

The YMCA of Talbot County will share 50% of the race proceeds to promote physical fitness in the community where “the Y” serves one in three citizens in the area. The YMCA of Talbot County is currently in the middle of a $5 million capital campaign where a majority of those funds will be used to build a new Teen and Family Center. Robbie Gill, the Y’s executive director continues, “Monies received from the Race will be earmarked for continued youth development and enrichment programs as part of our capital campaign.”

Megan Cook, councilwoman for the Town of Easton and chair of the entire race committee says, “The partnership of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the YMCA underscores the connection of the past and present, to promote the community's best interests of both legacy and health.”

Mary Ann Henker, marketing and PR chair for the race explains the reasoning for the ‘Accomplish the Possible’ tagline, “Frederick Douglass taught us that anything is possible with effort and hard work. He said in his speech to Talbot County schoolchildren, ‘What was possible for me is possible for you.’ This is a philosophy shared by the YMCA as it strives to promote strength in both body and character. It is an appropriate tagline to support this shared partnership as both missions of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and YMCA will be realized.”

The event, to also include a post-Race celebration in the historic district of Easton, is expected to attract a total of 5,000 participants to include racers, bystanders and celebration visitors.

Manning Lee, co-chair of the celebration sub-committee, says, “After the Race, everyone (participants, family members, friends and others from the region) will join in a “family-friendly” celebration event in downtown Easton, now commemorating its 300th anniversary. The Celebration will include music, food, and vendors along with the participation of all shopkeepers and restaurants in the heart of the historic district.”

The race and celebration committee consists of the following members (listed in alphabetical order):

  •     Pam Black – Marketing & PR Co-Chair
  •     Delores Bowens – Treasurer
  •     Childene Brooks – Transportation Chair
  •     Megan Cook – Committee Chair | Town of Easton Councilwoman
  •     Tracy Cohee – Health & Safety Chair & Registration Chair | Executive Director, St. Michaels Family YMCA
  •     Mary Ann Henker – Marketing & PR Co-Chair | President, The Henker Group
  •     Manning Lee – Celebration Co-Chair | Deputy Director, National Autism Association of Maryland-Eastern Shore
  •     Eric Lowery – Materials Chair
  •     Harriette Lowery – Celebration Co-Chair
  •     Kelley Malone – Sponsorship Chair | Town of Easton Councilwoman

The event has also received in-kind graphic design services from Tim Young of Eclectic Graphics and web development support from Joel Shilliday of Diving Dog Productions.

For more information on the race and celebration and to register, please visit http://www.frederickdouglassymca10miler.com.

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