STOCKBRIDGE — You can run or you can walk, but Stockbridge Library Association leaders are hoping you won't hide from the town's first Family 5K Fun Run & Walk later this month.
The community event, set for 9 a.m. Oct. 23, is designed not only to help raise funds for the Library, Museum and Archives' operating costs, said Library Director Katie O'Neil.
"We're trying to bring a little cheer to the community, to bring it together," O'Neil said, referring to widely reported issues involving town government leadership this year.
"We're promoting healthy minds and healthy bodies," added Leslie Shatz, a library board member and chairwoman of the development committee. "The library is really making a concerted effort to present programs that engage our community."
Since it's a first-time effort, O'Neil said she has realistic goals and would be pleased with 100 participants. The top male and female runners will be given cash prizes, thanks to event sponsors, she noted.
"If we have a solid, successful first year, we hope to build on it and make it an annual event," O'Neil said.
She emphasized that it's a family-friendly event, which she finds especially appealing as a parent with a young child. The 5K was proposed by new trustee Jon Budish, a part-time Stockbridge resident.
"We wanted to make this something people in the community would respond to," O'Neil said. "It's a walk or a run, so anyone can take part."
Participants will assemble at the library on the corner of Main and Elm streets. The route covers Church Street, North Church Street, Old Meeting House Road, Vine Street, back to Main Street and to the finish line in the parking lot of the Stockbridge Town Offices.
The separate kids' race, a 100-yard dash, will be followed by activities in the park adjacent to the Town Offices, supervised by departing Youth Librarian Vicky Cooper and her successor Jenney Maloy, a Dalton resident, former part-timer at the Lenox Library and a Stockbridge native.
Since the event comes a week before Halloween, the library is encouraging participants to wear costumes; a prize will be awarded for the best one.
The Stockbridge Library Association's annual budget is $370,000 for the 2017 fiscal year. Town funding of $165,614 is about 45 percent of the total.
If you go . . .
What: Stockbridge Library Association's inaugural Family Fun 5K (walk or run) to benefit the Library, Museum and Archive's operations.
When: 9 a.m. Oct. 23. Same-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Fee $30 on race day, $25 in advance, $50 for a family, $10 for youngsters 12-17, $5 for kids aged 3-11 for a 100-yard dash. Preregistration is available at www.stockbridgelibrary.org (a paper registration form also can be downloaded).
Where: Runners and walkers assemble at the library, corner of Main and Elm streets. The route includes Church Street, North Church Street, Old Meeting House Road, Vine Street, back to Main Street, ending at the Stockbridge Town Offices parking lot.
Details: Distance (3.2 miles, mostly flat, two hills, one water station, professional chip-timed course). All ages welcome, Halloween costumes are encouraged; cash prizes will be given to the top man and woman runners, with an additional prize for best costume. Tech T-shirts for first 100 adult registrants. Refreshments provided for participating runners and walkers.
Additional information: Stockbridge Library, 413-298-5501 or www.stockbridgelibrary.org.