Tioga Downs wraps up third annual Scholarship Race

NICHOLS, N.Y. - This past Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs, five local area high school students got the opportunity of a lifetime in the third annual Tioga Downs' Scholarship Race. The students representing five local area high schools were Kayla Pepper of Johnson City High School, Whitney Seabrooks of Binghamton High School, Gabriella Martinichio of Chenango Forks, Adrian Romaof Maine-Endwell, and Karina Liberati of Chenango Valley.

The five students had participated in training sessions with some of the Tioga Downs' horsemen over a three week period in preparation for Sunday's race. Helping assist the girls, and also riding in the double seated jog carts with them for the race were Jason MacDougal, Tim Lanpher, Corey Braden, Fern Paquet Jr. and Tyler Freese.

The students raced once around the racetrack in between the second and third race on Sunday afternoon and it was a photo finish at the wire. Karina Liberati of Chenango Valley and driver Tyler Freese edged out Kayla Pepper and Jason MacDougal to take home the $3,000 scholarship for first place. Kayla Pepper received $2,000 for second, Whitney Seabrooks finished third for $1,200, Adriana Roma received $800 for fourth, and Gabriella Martinichio picked up $500 for fifth.

"This is one of our best events we have at Tioga throughout the year. It gets some of our local area kids involved in harness racing and gives them a great opportunity to help pay for their continued education after high school," said Jason M. Settlemoir, vice president of Racing and Simulcast.

The sponsors helping support the third annual Scholarship Race are the Harness Horse Breeder's of New York State, Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, New York Sire Stakes and Tioga Downs.

For more information on Tioga Downs, visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Local runner completes marathon for Stray Haven

Valley resident Karen Sharpsteen is often seen running throughout the streets of Waverly, Sayre and Athens. While she enjoys logging hundreds of miles for her health and personal well-being, she also wanted to use her training for a good cause.

A regular volunteer at Stray Haven, Sharpsteen decided to seek sponsorship for the 'Run for the Red' Marathon, held May 20 in the Poconos, to raise funds for the shelter. While falling short of her financial goal, Sharpsteen was able to raise $1,500, and overall was pleased with the days results.

"That Sunday was one of the hottest days we've had all year with the temperature around 85 degrees," said Sharpsteen. She continued, :The heat combined with continuous hills along the course made for a tough race, but it was worth it."

This was Sharpsteen's first attempt at this marathon, finishing in 4 hours 32 minutes. "My time was slower than I would have liked, but I felt great," Sharpsteen added. "I was just thankful I wasn't one of the many hauled off the course in an ambulance with heat exhaustion, and that I knew I was raising money for the animals," she said.

One of Sharpsteen's goals was also to raise awareness that independent fundraisers such as this are vital to Stray Haven as well as to other small, nonprofit organizations.

"Normally a small staff is incredibly busy with the day to day operations, not leaving much extra time aside for things like fundraisers," Sharpsteen explained. On a personal note, Sharpsteen would like to extend her gratitude to her family, friends and coworkers at the Robert Packer Hospital Emergency Department for their sponsorship. Her next event will be the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, N.Y. on Sept. 30.

Stray Haven to raise funds through raffle of donated quilt

A quilt raffle is now in progress at Stray Haven Humane Society in Waverly, N.Y. Thorne Whalen donated the quilt for Stray Haven.

Thorne is an accomplished quilter, having won two awards at the New York State in Syracuse. Thorne is also the driving force behind the "quilts for animals" project, having fellow quilters make small quilts for the shelter dogs and cats to enjoy while at Stray Haven.

Tickets are on sale now at the shelter at 194 Shepard Rd. Waverly, N.Y. The quilt can be seen there, and will be taken to several satellite events throughout the community, to include the Newark Valley Farmer's Market on Sunday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The raffle proceeds will benefit the animals at Stray Haven. The drawing will take place on July 31. Call (607) 565-2859 for details.

Open house planned for new Guthrie Owego office

OWEGO, N.Y. - An open house celebration is planned for Thursday, June 28 from 4 - 6 p.m. at the new Guthrie Owego clinic at 1246 State Route 38, in Owego, N.Y. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature tours of the new facility, a chance to meet the providers and learn about new services. There will also be refreshments, door prizes, x-ray demonstrations and a balloon animal entertainer.

At 12,000 square feet, the expanded office will allow for additional providers and visiting specialists in the areas of oncology, orthopedics, pediatric dermatology and cardiology.