Stobbs race raises $80K for veterans

WHEELING – The Lois Stobbs Memorial Veterans 10K Run/Walk turns a decade old this Nov. 2.

During the nine years of the patriotic event, some $80,000 has been raised for the West Virginia Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. This year, race proceeds will be split between Paralyzed Veterans chapter and Paws for Purple Hearts Warriors Helping Warriors.

Paws for Purple Hearts is the inaugural program to offer Service Dog Training Canine Assisted Therapy for Veterans and active duty service members by teaching those facing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) challenges how to train service dogs for their comrades with mobility impairments and/or PTSD or TBI.

Hugh Stobbs returns as race director. He was in charge of the popular event for its first eight years before taking a one-year hiatus. Lance Tarr, Wayne Barte, Steve Habursky and Mary Jo Conaway teamed up to seamlessly oversee the 2018 edition.

The race is named in the honor of Stobbs’ late wife Lois.

“She did an awful lot for the race and she was a good athlete,” Stobbs said. “We did everything together. The race committee wanted to name the 10K after her.

“The pinnacle came a few years ago when Lois and I were awarded the National Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award. Our names are now in the Philadelphia chapel that houses the award along with the names of several U.S. presidents,” he added. “Lois deserves credit for this race. We were sitting on the couch one Sunday watching a boring NFL game. She said, ‘why don’t you get off your butt and start another race.’ So I did.”

Stobbs feels recharged in the role of race director.

“It feels good to be back (race director). I kind of missed it,” Stobbs said. “It is such a good thing to put on an event that helps our veterans. It is also great adding the Paws for Purple Hearts to the race.

“Things are going very well. The committee does a tremendous job,” he added. “People do not realize how much work goes into something of this magnitude. The committee puts in countless hours of work.”

While the committee does the lion’s share of the heavy lifting, Stobbs also calls the 10K a “community undertaking,” as several groups volunteer their helpful assistance.

“The special-needs students at Wheeling Park are a huge help. They mailed out 500 entry forms and also help with the race packets,” Stobbs noted. “Two classes at Bridge Street School are making thank-you notes to give to veterans at the banquet.

“Also, the aid stations will be staffed by Girl Scouts and some 4-H club members,” he added. “The committee and myself are thankful for all the volunteer support these groups provide it. They are a huge help.”

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. at Bridge Street Middle School in Triadelphia. This year’s race is being held in memory of Ike Calissie and Ron DiLorenzo.

The following awards will be presented to runners and walkers: Men and Women Overall, 1-3; Men’s Masters 1-2, Women’s Masters, 1-2. Age groups, men and women two deep.

All participants will receive a race t-shirt and free admission to the awards banquet at WesBanco Arena, catered by Ye Olde Alpha.

The course is USAT&F sanctioned and certified, encompassing the last 6.2 miles of the Wheeling 20K course. The major sponsors of the event include Community Bank, Alpine Skis & Boards, Ohio County Commission, The City of Wheeling and Valley Hospice.

For more information, contact Stobbs at Stobbs-hugh@comcast.net.


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