By DYLAN REYNOLDS
The Dandelion May Run has been held annually for the past 24 years, but the past three have had a special meaning for Breitenbach Wine Cellars general manager Anita Davis.
It was three years ago that Davis, who organizes the 5k run and walk, began using its proceeds to support the Zachary Davis Memorial Foundation. Zach is Anita’s late son, who died from a heroin overdose in 2005. Anita established the foundation in his name to raise awareness of drug abuse and prevent others from repeating Zach’s tragic mistakes.
“I go to schools in Tuscarawas and the surrounding counties. I share my story and show the video on my website,” she wrote in an e-mail, pointing to zachsstory.org, which details Zach’s life and addiction. Additionally, Davis said the foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in counseling or social work. Along with other funding sources, the proceeds from Dandelion May Run allow the foundation to provide these services.
And with a crowd of more than 150 runners and walkers predicted for this year’s race, Davis could collect more than usual for her foundation. The 5k, scheduled for May 6, promises the same challenging course as usual, beginning and ending at Breitenbach Wine Cellars. The course spans several roads surrounding the winery, taking runners over the challenging hills of Amish Country.
As a reward for overcoming the hills, Davis provides runners with extra amenities. She named “T-shirts, food, sangria, massages, trophies and medals in the age groups” as some freebies the race provides. And, as part of the Tuscarawas Valley Challenge, points will be counted for the race (The race is open to anyone, regardless of TVC participation). The race is also part of the Ohio Challenge Series this year.
Runners or walkers who want to participate in this year’s Dandelion May Run can register at the following website:https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Dover/5KDandelionMayRunWalk. A printable version of the registration form is available on Breitenbach’s website. The cost is $25, plus a $2.50 fee for online registration. The price will increase to $30 on April 25. The 5k begins at 9 A.M. on May 6 at Breitenbach Wine Cellars.
Additionally, anyone with questions or an interest in volunteering on race day may contact Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org.