Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Your time: Run for Tara, Easthampton

  • University of Massachusetts volunteers, Jenny Sheehan, Owen Sheehan, 4, Sean Sheehan, Andy Sheehan, 2
  • Owen Sheehan, Glenn Cameron
  • 5-kilometer walk
  • Fran O'Donnell, John Sheehan
  • Amherst Regional High School cross country team
  • 5-kilometer run
  • Raffle items
  • Cindy Palmer quilt, volunteers Kenny Anzalone, Alexis Pomella, Catherine Elsier
  • Johanna Korpita, Meaghan Sheehan
  • Maureen Sheehan, Virginia Ahart
  • Eric Nazar, John Sheehan, David Sullivan
  • Owen Sheehan, Glenn Cameron
  • John Sheehan, right
  • Crowd gathers
  • University of Massachusetts volunteers, Jenny Sheehan, Owen Sheehan, 4, Sean Sheehan, Andy Sheehan, 2
  • Owen Sheehan, Glenn Cameron
  • 5-kilometer walk
  • Fran O'Donnell, John Sheehan
  • Amherst Regional High School cross country team
  • 5-kilometer run
  • Raffle items
  • Cindy Palmer quilt, volunteers Kenny Anzalone, Alexis Pomella, Catherine Elsier
  • Johanna Korpita, Meaghan Sheehan
  • Maureen Sheehan, Virginia Ahart
  • Eric Nazar, John Sheehan, David Sullivan
  • John Sheehan, right
  • Crowd gathers
  • Owen Sheehan, Glenn Cameron

Photos and text by Jerrey Roberts

More than 300 people gathered Sunday for the 11th Run for Tara at Galbraith Field in Easthampton. Held each year on Nov. 11 to mark the birthday of the late Tara Sheehan, a former Southampton woman who died in 2002 after a 10-year fight against anorexia, the fundraiser features a 5-kilometer cross-country run, a 5-kilometer walk and a quarter-mile race for children.

Donations from local businesses and individuals are raffled to raise additional funds. Among the items offered this year were a quilt made by Cindy Palmer, and a black leather jacket given by Easthampton Harley-Davidson.

The Sheehan family organizes the event each year with help from a team of volunteers coordinated by retired teacher Virginia Ahart. This year’s volunteers included about 40 students in a public health class at the University of Massachusetts, along with a group of teammates from the Amherst Regional High School cross-country team who were there with coach Eric Nazar.

This year’s event raised $10,100. John Sheehan, Tara’s father, said that $5,000 will be given to the Walden Center in Northampton, which treats people with eating disorders. Plans for the balance will be decided after expenses from the event are paid.

“It is always a bittersweet event,” he said. “The bitter part, of course, is that Tara died at a young age and we miss her every day. The sweet part is that so many people come to celebrate Tara’s birthday and memory.”

To suggest a subject for Your Time, contact Suzanne Wilson at swilson@gazettenet.com.

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