Banishing the winter ‘blahs’

Special to the OBSERVER

While snowy February and muddy March can be extremely “long” months, Chautauqua Striders is finding ways to encourage healthy lifestyles and have fun at the same time. During the stark, gray days of winter and what seems like unending lack of sunshine, everyone needs something to look forward to, something to encourage a smile. Here are some ways in which to banish the winter “blahs.”

March 1 will be the first-ever “Striders Night Live!” at the Crystal Ballroom, Hotel Jamestown Building. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30, with TPT (Teachers, Preachers, and Trent) providing live music. This talented group is comprised of Jamestown High School teachers Mike Tuccio, Scott Lumia, and Jamestown High School graduate, Trent Stafford, and local pastors, Adam Rohler and Jay Baehr, and Justin Joyner. The band features classic rock hits from the ’70s through today. TPT has recently performed at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, the YMCA, and for Jamestown High School’s Class of 2012 fundraiser.

Complementing TPT will be the local comedy group, “Lights of Broadway,” featuring Jamestown Public School teachers Jeff Kresge, Jason Williams and Keith Stam II. This hilarious ensemble has helped raise money for many charitable organizations and most recently participated in the annual Downtown Jamestown Holiday Parade. Anyone attending the parade surely remembers them as the gigantic, pink Easter bunnies. Known for their zany antics, “Lights of Broadway” is sure to be a hit!

Tickets for “Striders Night Live” are on sale now for $25 or at the door on March 1 for $30. This evening is intended for adults only; no one under the age of 21 years will be admitted. For more information, phone 488-2203, log onto info@chautauqua-striders.org or go online to Facebook.com/chautauquastriders.

For many, it would not be St. Patrick’s Day without the annual St. Patrick’s Dash. Again this year, the start/finish line will be in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, 319 W. Third St. The Three-Mile Dash and Walk for adults begins at 9:15 a.m., with pre-registration and check-in from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Food and refreshments will be provided for athletes inside the arena following the race. In addition, persons registering early (prior to midnight, March 11) will receive a T-shirt. There will be race and walk categories for men and women ages 14 and up. Children in grades 1-5 will also be able to take part in a “Leprechaun Kid’s Lap” starting at 11 a.m. For more detailed registration and entry fee information, contact Chautauqua Striders at 488-2203 or log onto www.chautauqua-striders.org.

Finally, while not an end-of-winter event, Chautauqua Striders, the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy will be partnering together to sponsor the inaugural Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5K. This nationally-significant race is scheduled to take place on Oct. 12-13 (Columbus Day weekend). Runners from across the country will compete in a 13.1 mile half-marathon on a USATF (USA Track and Field) certified course. Beginning in Jamestown and running through Celoron and Lakewood, athletes will pass near Lucille Ball’s childhood home and the Lucille Ball Memorial Park. Other events in the planning stages include a 5k run, a sports expo, a pasta dinner, and a “Night of Comedy.”

The goal of this exciting event is to promote a healthy lifestyle and it is very fitting that Univera Healthcare will be the title sponsor. According to Art Wingerter, CEO for Univera Healthcare, “Univera Healthcare is proud to partner with the Jamestown area to help promote healthier living and we look forward to working with the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Chautauqua Striders and the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy to present a great weekend of events.” Contact Phil Genco at 484-2624 or visit LucyRace.com for information and registration.

Come join the fun!

Send comments on this column to lifestyles@observertoday.com