2013-06-13 / Local & State

Annual Ben Knepper 5K July 27

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Ben Knepper Ben Knepper Eight years after his tragic death, family, friends, church and community members will gather next month to not only recognize the spirit of Ben Knepper but to celebrate his achievements and past life here on Earth.

Organizers of the eighth annual Ben K-5K remain hopeful this year’s event will be just as big if not bigger and more memorable than those held since Ben’s passing on June 13, 2005. Set for Saturday, July 27, at Center United Methodist Church community building, the 3.1 mile race will again be open to both runners and walkers who will be led down the race route toward Dublin Mills Church and back to Center.

Scott Knepper, Ben’s older brother and co-organizer, told the “News” the event will get under way at 7 a.m. with an hour-long registration period. The race itself will begin at 8 a.m. following musical selections and the national anthem by the Forbes Road Junior/ Senior High School band overseen by director Ryan Wade.

The race is expected to wrap up at 9:15 a.m. with refreshments and an awards ceremony that will recognize the top male and female runners in the following categories: 15 and under; 16 to 25; 26 to 35; 36- 45; 45-55; and 56 and over.

Interested participants are encouraged to preregister for free before July 6 by obtaining a registration form at one of several locations. Forms can be picked up at Newman’s Market and Knepper’s Mill, both in Waterfall; Hustontown Country Market; and The Fulton County News, located in Mc- Connellsburg. Registration forms can also be obtained online by contacting Scott Knepper at spknepper@csborbisonia.com or Chanin Rotz- Mountz at chaninr@comcast.net.

Any registration forms postmarked after July 6 or turned in on race day should include a $5 registration fee.

In addition, sponsorships are also currently being accepted to help defray expenses associated with organizing and hosting the event. As a result, any resident, family or business contributing $100 or more to the event will have their name printed on the back of the race day souvenir T-shirt. T-shirts are only guaranteed for individuals meeting the July 6 registration deadline. However, additional T- shirts should be available for purchase the day of the event. Cost is $15 per shirt, which will feature a slightly revised Ben K-5K logo.

Sponsorships must be submitted by June 28 to Scott Knepper at 1973 Dublin Mills Road, Hustontown, PA 17229 or Barry Knepper, 2272 Dublin Mills Road, Hustontown, PA 17229. All checks should be made payable to the Ben Knepper Scholarship Fund.

All proceeds from the event will be earmarked for the Ben Knepper Scholarship that recognizes several members of the current Forbes Road School District graduating class who have dreams of furthering their education. In 2013, Forbes Road seniors Hailey Berkstresser and Jessica Jenkins were the proud recipients of a $400 scholarship. Several additional seniors, including Corrina Parsons, Madison Shafer and Erin Downey, were given a $50 applicant award through the scholarship.

The scholarship was established by the Knepper family immediately following the death of Ben, who was only six credits shy of completing a two-year program in business management at Penn State University’s Mont Alto campus. Ben passed away on June 13, 2005, just miles from his Drifting Lane, Hustontown home. The tragic car crash accident occurred while he was heading home after completing his shift at JLG Industries in McConnellsburg. A storm had just passed through the area, leaving the local roadways rainsoaked.

Any residents requiring additional information regarding the Ben Knepper Scholarship Fund or the upcoming Ben K-5K event should contact Scott Knepper at 814-685-3108 or Barry Knepper at 814-685-3087.

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