The Village Ultra 24-hour run raises money for Mahar

Published: 9/22/2018 5:32:43 PM

Here are some brief thoughts on some of the events taking place around the North Quabbin area: The Village Ultra, a 24-hour run, including a series of races and loops around the New Salem Town Common, has raised $1,528 for the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School.

Avid runner and Mahar Regional School Committee member Carla Halpern organized the event to raise awareness about the school’s needs and to bring in some money for the upcoming school year.

About two dozen participants ran on trails and roads during the 24 hours starting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1. Some ran as little as a mile, and others much farther. How far they got isn’t as important as making the effort for Mahar. Participants ranged from preschoolers to people in their 70s.

“We had people out for a stroll, we had serious ultra runners ... we had people just stop by digging into their pockets for spare change to donate,” said Halpern.

That’s what we call school spirit.

Jimmy walk

Speaking of runners, sort of.

Beckie Brown is a marathon runner who was scheduled to participate in the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk Sunday in Boston.

The 43-year-old Athol resident and fellow team member Tammy Lake of Phillipston were among the 9,500 people expected to participate in the annual walking event, which follows the route of the Boston Marathon.

The pair, walking on behalf of a friend who recently beat breast cancer at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, are team “Walkers 4 Knockers.”

Brown, who has participated in “a ton” of charity runs, but never a walk, said she may have to force herself “not to run.”

This year’s goal is to raise more than $9 million to benefit the Jimmy Fund for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

And some of that help is coming from the North Quabbin.

Dog days

Is Athol going to the dogs?

It sure seemed like it recently, when bloodhounds, German shepherds and police officers, helped by uniformed members of the Junior ROTC from Montachusett Technical Regional School, were training around the downtown area.

The Northeast Houndsmen were hosting the annual training seminar for law enforcement K-9 teams from Athol, Orange, Phillipston, Templeton, Royalston, Gardner and beyond. Eighteen teams, dogs and handlers, participated.

Small groups were conducting tracking sessions around Main Street and near the Athol Police station on Exchange Street, so bystanders can’t be faulted for thinking a crime spree was in progress.

Here’s to your health

Heywood Healthcare has opened the Tully Walk-In Care Center at 81 Reservoir Drive in Athol.

The new center will offer walk-in treatment for illnesses and injuries, including cuts, sprains, fever, sore throats, ear aches and cold symptoms, with no appointment required.

Heywood says it is committed to providing high-quality, affordable treatment for North Central and North Quabbin communities, and having a quick care center like this certainly is a welcome and valuable addition to the mix of health services available in the region.

Domestic abuse

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office is offering training for police officers and dispatchers from the region in coming weeks, to strengthen the district’s response to domestic violence calls.

Despite a rising awareness about domestic abuse and tougher laws in recent years, there’s still lots of work to do to combat this often hidden crime.

The trainings are intended to teach police how to assess risks to those reporting incidents of domestic violence. Such training has been effective at holding offenders accountable for their crimes and in lowering the number of domestic violence homicides, according to District Attorney David E. Sullivan.

The trainings will also focus on outlining the necessary steps to take to protect victims and their children from ongoing abuse.

According to Sullivan, the district has seen a decline in the number of domestic violence homicides since the High Risk Team Project began. No domestic violence homicides have occurred in his jurisdiction over a five-year period from June 2012 to June 2017.


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