Run for the Cupboard: Southampton Eagle Scout hopeful boosts food pantry

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  • David Arnold, foreground, of Southampton starts the Run for the Cupboard 5K, a benefit for the Southampton Community Cupboard, on Saturday. The event, organized by Hampshire Regional senior and Southampton Troop 210 Boy Scout Maxwell MacFadzen as part of his Eagle Project, raised over $3,000 for the food pantry. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Maxwell MacFadzen of Southampton calls runners to the start of the Run for the Cupboard 5K on Saturday morning, Aug. 17, 2019, just outside the Southampton Community Cupboard. MacFadzen, a member of Southampton Boy Scout Troop 210, organized the fundraising event for the food pantry as part of his Eagle Scout Project. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire Regional sophomore Ryan McConnell, left, and eighth-grader Tim Cahill took first and second place, respectively, in the Run for the Cupboard 5K to benefit the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Southampton. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Southampton Troop 210 Boy Scout Xander Fried, 11, dressed as a hot dog, offers high fives at the finish line of the Run for the Cupboard mile walk to benefit the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Fried also offered to let people take selfies with him, for a dollar, to benefit the food pantry. The event was organized by Hampshire Regional senior and fellow Boy Scout Maxwell MacFadzen as part of his Eagle Project. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Ashley Jones, left, and Ellie Florek-Grader have a friendly sprint to the finish in the Run for the Cupboard 5K in Southampton on Saturday. The event was a benefit for the Southampton Community Cupboard and organized by Hampshire Regional senior and Southampton Troop 210 Boy Scout Maxwell MacFadzen as part of his Eagle Project. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Bill Vanwagner, right, of Southampton is applauded as he finishes the Run for the Cupboard 5K to benefit the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Southampton. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Shelly Bacis of Southampton took first place in the women's division of the Run for the Cupboard 5K on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Southampton. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Jeff Cahill, left, and others taking part in the Run for the Cupboard 5K head down Fomer Road in Southampton during the benefit for the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. The event was organized by Hampshire Regional senior and Southampton Troop 210 Boy Scout Maxwell MacFadzen as part of his Eagle Project. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Hampshire Regional sophomores Margot Laplante, left, and Molly Halpin are applauded as they finish the Run for the Cupboard 5K to benefit the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Southampton. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Southampton Troop 210 Boy Scout Cole Marian hands water to Sue Tracy of Chester during the Run for the Cupboard 5K to benefit the Southampton Community Cupboard on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 8/17/2019 5:26:24 PM

SOUTHAMPTON — Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that’s attainable only through determination, hard work and devotion to becoming a leader.

And though he hasn’t quite earned the badge yet, 17-year-old Maxwell MacFadzen of Southampton is well on his way. This past Saturday, MacFadzen organized the first annual “Run for the Cupboard,” an awareness-raising 5K road race that collected $3,305 for the Southampton Community Cupboard, a local food pantry.

At first, MacFadzen, who has been a Boy Scout since the fifth grade, didn’t have an idea he liked for his Eagle Scout project. It wasn’t until he was in a Scout meeting at the First Congregational Church in Southampton and saw a sign for the cupboard, which operates out of the same building, that he decided to plan a charity 5K.

“I didn’t even really know we had a community cupboard, and I asked around, and not a lot of people knew about it,” he said. “My goal is to get the word out about, talk to people and raise some fundraising for it.”

MacFadzen, an incoming senior at Hampshire Regional High School, said that the race not only raises awareness for the food pantry’s work, but also for the growing issue of food insecurity in general. A cross-country athlete, MacFadzen combined his passion for running with his dedication to informing others about food security.

“I think it’s important to know that there’s food insecurity here in our own town, even if it doesn’t seem like it,” he said.

Luann Archambault, Southampton Community Cupboard’s pantry manager, said she was grateful for fundraising events like the 5K since the pantry runs solely on donations.

The cupboard operates on the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and serves 25 to 30 families every time it’s open. Nonperishables, fresh produce and meat are all available at the pantry for anyone in Southampton and surrounding towns, she said.

“I know a lot of people who think that Southampton, as a somewhat prominent town, that it couldn’t possibly exist here,” Archambault said of food insecurity. “But it does.”

In addition to the 5K race, there was also a 1-mile walk. Participants paid a $25 entry fee for preregistered participants, MacFadzen said, and there was a $30 entry fee on the day of the race. Local businesses and families also donated to the cause. In all, MacFadzen said 52 people registered for the event.

Heather Galpin, scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 210, which is MacFadzen’s unit, said she has known him since he was a Cub Scout.

“He’s got good character traits — always helpful, friendly,” she said. “He’s a very good Scout.”

MacFadzen’s mother, Deana MacFadzen, fought back proud tears while talking about the work her son had put into organizing the race.

“It’s been a lot of work for him, but it’s all to this moment,” she said. “He’s self-driven and it’s awesome.”

Racing for awareness

Just after 9 a.m., with the help of Marathon Sports to track times, MacFadzen sounded the first horn to begin the race. Spectators cheered participants on, all while Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” played loud over the speakers.

Fresh fruit, granola bars, lollipops and water were available for those at the race. And for a $3 donation to the pantry, eventgoers could buy hot dogs, chips and a water.

Coming in first in the men’s division was MacFadzen’s friend and cross-country teammate Ryan McConnell, 15, of Southampton, with a time of 19:28.67.

And first in the women’s division was Shelly Bacis of Southampton, with a time of 20:45.67.

McConnell said he was glad he could come and show support for his friend and the cause.

“It was cool to be in my hometown running this. It felt good,” he said.

Even though MacFadzen plans on going off to college after the school year — he’s thinking of studying business and is interested in Union College in upstate New York — he said he wants to try to stay involved after he leaves the scouts.

“I’m going to try to do this every year,” he said. “Fundraising hopefully for the cupboard and the Boy Scouts.”

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.


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