ROTTERDAM — Thursday was a day of triumph for the Rotterdam Community Center as representatives accepted a donation of more than $33,000. This money was raised through the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge, an annual charity run overseen by the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club.
Brian O’Grady, president of health plan markets at CDPHP, endorsed the Community Center as a force for good in Rotterdam.
“Our goal is to help them become sustainable,” O’Grady said. “There are a lot of needs in the community, whether it be food security, housing, arts and culture activities, or just bringing a community together. We’re hoping that this gift will help them build a sustainable future and draw more donors to the Community Center.”
Proceeds from the race have already enabled the center’s Bread of Life food pantry to grow. Staff have expanded the pantry’s hours of operation and developed new programs to address food insecurity, including a weekly home delivery service.
Rev. Dustin Longmire, executive director of the Community Center, proudly described the pantry’s impact on Rotterdam locals.
“Almost 11,000 guests have walked through these doors in just our first year,” Longmire said. “Over 50,000 meals have been served, and … all that was powered by over 5,000 hours of volunteer service. That is the sort of thing that brings neighbors together.”
Longmire and his colleagues also plan to use some of the donation money to upgrade the safety and security of the Community Center building on Curry Road.
Nearly 7,000 runners and walkers participated in the race on May 18. Todd Mesick, co-director of the Workforce Team Challenge for the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club, voiced appreciation for everyone who contributed to the race’s success.
“I’m glad to see the race turning back to the pre-pandemic participation levels. It’s really positive and certainly helps support the charities,” he said.
Approximately $13,000 of the total money raised came from race participants. As the region’s largest running organization, Mesick’s club hosts over 30 races per year and often gives event proceeds to local charities.
Standing under the center’s newly-painted rainbow sign, Longmire encouraged community members to continue helping one another.
“We’re all hungry for something, and we all have something to bring to the table,” he said.