The number of children who might benefit from Project MOST will increase this year thanks to a $30,000 donation by the Hamptons Marathon. It is the marathon’s biggest donation to date.
The race, which attracted 2,500 runners on September 28, raised more than $75,000 for local organizations, including the Springs School, the Springs School PTA, the East Hampton Day Care Learning Center and East Hampton Youth Football and Southampton Hospital, which received $30,000. In addition, $2,000 was donated to the One Fund for survivors of the Boston Marathon attack.
To celebrate the large donation to Project MOST, a check will be presented on Thursday, January 16, at 11 a.m. at the John M. Marshall Elementary School. Tim Bryden, the not-for-profit after-school program’s director, the marathon’s founders, Diane Weinberger and Amanda Moszkowski, and officials such as East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell are expected to turn out for the occasion.
“The money is huge to Project MOST,” Mr. Bryden said this week. “It’s going to help us scale up the number of kids we can serve.”
According to Ms. Weinberger, the Hamptons Marathon has given back to East End organizations for seven years, since it began. She said after the money comes in and the bills are paid, the community benefits.
“For us it’s a labor of love,” she said. “So many people swoop in to raise money and leave. We love this community and so we wanted to create something lasting for the community.”
Each year, participants run a “beautiful course” through Springs and Amagansett, Ms. Weinberger said. The course begins and ends at the Springs School on School Street. Runners have the choice to complete the 6-mile half-course or continue on to run the full marathon, which goes out to Napeague and back.
The marathon has become quite popular, Ms. Weinberger said. Runners from 35 states and five different countries regularly make trips to the Hamptons to run in the race. She said the marathon has gained attention from the magazine Runner’s World for its beautiful course as well as its “swag”: winter running beanies, gloves, a bag and a long-sleeve T-shirt, for example, that are given to participants each year.
Despite its growing fan base, the Hamptons Marathon is still a local race, according to Ms. Weinberger.
“We have been asked to have elite runners, but we don’t want to do that,” she said. “The Hamptons is a real community with real working people.”
Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Springs School students and staff, and East Hampton Youth Football players all have donated their time to help at the marathon.
Ms. Weinberger said since she and Ms. Moszkowski have the ability to raise money, it only makes sense to put it back into the community they love.
“We’re able to run and people who are able want to give back to the community,” she said. “Project MOST has been with us since the beginning. We’re lucky to stay home to cart our kids around to dance, tennis and lacrosse. Not everybody in the East Hampton community can do that. Project MOST provides an invaluable service to families and kids to help keep them engaged and interested in doing something after school.”
According to Mr. Bryden, Project MOST is serving more kids than ever before—36 percent of the students at the John Marshall Elementary School now stay for three more learning hours. He said the donation will allow the organization to provide more scholarships so that no child is denied access to Project MOST.
Ms. Weinberger said they are starting a new race this year, a half-marathon in Bridgehampton to benefit the Bridgehampton Museum (formerly the Bridgehampton Historical Society). The event is slated for May 10.
For more information, visit hamptonsmarathon.com and bridgehamptonhalf.com.