Seniors, friends, loved ones and kids: lace up your kicks and get ready to get moving. The 13th Annual John May Mile & 5K benefitting the Greenport Fire Department will take place Saturday, May 12, in Greenport, and organizers are presenting Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley with the Older Americans Champion Award.
“Police Chief Martin Flatley has dedicated his more than 40-year career in law enforcement to keeping the men and women of Southold Town safe, including our area seniors,” said Robert Syron, president/CEO of event host Peconic Landing. “As police chief, he helps educate and advocate for the needs of seniors in the community and understands what it takes to keep our seniors safe. It is very fitting that we recognize him with the 2018 Older Americans Champion Award.”
“I spoke to Bob Styron,” the chief said, “And I said I’m getting my chops broken a little about ‘Older Americans’ . . . maybe they can change the words up a little.” The Older Americans Champion Award honors local individuals or organizations for their years of service and continued dedication to older Americans, acknowledging the contributions they make to improve the lives of seniors on the East End.
Southold Town has a significant elderly population, Chief Flatley pointed out, and residents of Peconic Landing are very active in the community. “They’re a very good group,” the chief said, adding that town officials and his department interact with the Peconic Landing community in the planning of events and initiatives throughout the year.
The namesake of the race, John May, lived next door to the chief and his wife. “I knew him a lot of years, so this makes it even more meaningful,” the chief said. “Anytime somebody recognizes you for your work, it’s flattering.”
In 2016, Peconic Landing renamed the fundraiser race in recognition of John M. May of Southold, its longtime board chairman, for his many contributions made to the Peconic Landing community and beyond.
John May served as chair of the board of trustees for more than a decade, working to help the not-for-profit provide quality care and accommodations for all of its members. May played a vital role in bringing the retirement community to Greenport, with a goal of creating a community hub that benefits all North Fork residents.
Since kicking-off in 2005, the annual John May Mile benefit has raised more than $239,800 for the Greenport Fire Department. Last year’s campaign contributed a total of $24,800, helping to purchase, refurbish, and maintain rescue equipment vital to keeping fire department volunteers safe during response efforts.
“The annual donation means a great deal to us. It allows us to purchase items which are not normally within our budget. The money donated last year enabled the department to do a complete renovation of the fire bell and refurbishment and cleaning of the Firefighters Memorial located at Greenport FD Headquarters. The donation money also funded the fire department picnic for the members and their families,” said Chief Jeffrey Weingart of the GFD.
“Additionally, we were also able to purchase about 50 trench coats to complement the department uniforms in case of inclement weather during events. The Greenport Fire Department members and their families truly appreciate the generous donations from Peconic Landing’s John May Mile event for the past 12 years,” Weingart added.
The family-friendly event offers a free Kid Fun Zone with activities for all ages. A yoga warm-up will also be available, with instruction provided by Peconic Landing’s team of personal trainers.
Registration and stretching begin at 8 AM at Brecknock Hall at 1 Brecknock Road, Greenport with the race and walk to start at 10 AM. Online registration is available at: https://peconiclanding.org/event/john-may-mile-2018/. Pre-registration is recommended. However, participants can register the day of the event.
A barbecue lunch with live music and awards ceremony will follow at 11:15 AM on the back lawn of Brecknock Hall, where goods from area businesses — including gift certificates and donated goods — will be raffled off, with all proceeds benefitting the department.
The East End’s premier Older Americans Month celebration, the race is open to runners and walkers of all ages and fitness abilities, offering both a relaxed mile-long walk and a more challenging 3.1-mile run. More than 400 participants are expected to run, with more than 150 volunteers, including students from area school districts, helping throughout the day.