Darren Manzella-Lapeira Memorial Run set for Aug. 2

BROCTON – Plans are in motion for the inaugural Darren Manzella-Lapeira Memorial 5K Run to be held Aug. 2 in Brocton and Portland.

Darren’s cousins, Melissa Seavy and Jann Heyden, attended Wednesday’s board of trustees meeting to seek support from village leadership to hold the memorial event in his honor. Manzella-Lapeira died tragically Aug. 29, 2013 from injuries sustained in an auto accident in Pittsford. A graduate of Brocton Central School, Manzella-Lapeira’s bravery extended beyond his duties as an Army combat medic and were evidenced in his activism aimed at championing the defeat of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for United States servicemen and women. He further advocated military veterans in his work with the crisis call center for the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs office.

Proceeds from the Aug. 2 event will be used toward the purchase of a memorial monument and to benefit the Darren Manzella-Lapeira Veterans Assistance Fund held at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, which will directly benefit local veterans through emergency assistance.

According to Seavy and Heyden, the race will follow a mapped course that includes a walking route, and the remainder of the schedule of events will take place from the Brocton Legion.

Mayor Dave Hazelton added, “You have our full support.”

While the organizers will be reaching out to town of Portland leaders, as well as both fire departments for involvement, the trustees unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday for the event to be held. Details will be announced as the race date draws closer. Details about entering or volunteering for the event can also be found on the event’s Facebook page.