'Moonlight in Vermont' Midnight Road Race slated for July 12

POWNAL -- The annual "Moonlight in Vermont" Midnight Road Race and Community Ramble returns the night of Saturday, July 12, giving both runners and walkers the opportunity to participate in the light of the full moon.

The four-mile road race begins at the stroke of midnight from the Pownal Valley Fire Department's station at the top of the hill on Route 7 in Pownal Center. The course follows secondary paved and dirt roads through the hills and dales of rural Pownal, with luminaries positioned at regular intervals to keep runners on course. Awards will be given to overall male and female winners, as well as the top three finishers in seven age categories. The non-competitive two-mile Community Ramble will begin at 12:03 a.m.

Prizes will be awarded to the first Pownal resident and to the individual judged "Most Visible in the Moonlight." Commemorative T-shirts will be given to pre-registered runners and walkers, and refreshments will be available after the race.

The race is held on the Saturday night each July nearest to the full moon. Records for the course are held by Jonathon Volpi (21:18, set in 2007) and Suze West (25:57, established during the inaugural Moonlight run in 1998).

The events are being organized by the Batten Kill Valley Runners and Pownal community members to benefit the Pownal Valley Fire Department, and are sponsored in part by Vermont Moonlight Cookies. The entry fee is $15 for pre-registration, and $18 on race night. BKVR members, students and Pownal residents receive a $3 discount. Check-in begins at 10:30 p.m. Register online at active.com, or pick up an application at the Solomon Wright Public Library. To learn more, contact moonlight@bkvr.org, or call Acting Race Director David Durfee at 802-442-4414.

Celebrate Father's Day with Fresh Air Fund

NEW YORK -- This Father's Day, we celebrate all the men in our lives and many men in Southern Vermont who take on the role of Fresh Air father, as they open their hearts to New York City children through The Fresh Air Fund's Volunteer Host Family Program. This Father's Day, consider sharing the joys of playing catch barefoot on the grass and roasting s'mores by the campfire with a New York City child.

"This experience can really impact your life in more ways than you would think; I am constantly discovering ways in which my Fresh Air child has enriched my life. My sons got involved and they always look forward to seeing their New York City friend," says one Fresh Air host father.

Each summer, over 4,000 children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. Families find hosting so rewarding that more than 65 percent of all Fresh Air children are reinvited to visit the same host families year after year. Fresh Air children are given the opportunity to experience a world outside of New York City.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. To learn more about hosting a Fresh Air child this summer, please contact Martha Thompson at 802-362-3473 or visit www.freshair.org.