SAVING LIVES BY SCARING AWAY DISTRACTED DRIVING

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7th Annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and Trick or Treat Walk adds activities for families including visits by Elsa, Anna and Olaf

A 5K Run, Halloween activities for kids and families and the Reality Rides simulator highlight the 7th Annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and Trick or Treat Walk on Saturday, October 31, at 9 a.m. at Harford Community College.

The 5K race, presented by the Kent Schwab Allstate Agency and held this year for the first time on Halloween, provides activities before and after for children and adults alike. Highlights include the opportunity for children to meet and take photos with Frozen’s Elsa, Anna and Olaf and to trick or treat while also learning about safe driving behaviors. Participants of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes in honor of Halloween.

“Reality Rides,” Allstate’s texting-while-driving simulator, will be available for participants to experience how distracted driving impacts operation of an automobile.

The American Red Cross will be onsite with its mobile blood unit, seeking donations. To sign up in advance to give blood, visit http://tinyurl.com/nwhs5gg.

Jamie Costello, an anchor at ABC2, will serve as master of ceremonies.

On-site race registration takes place in the Susquehanna Center from 8 to 8:45 a.m., with the race starting at 9 a.m.

Each pre-registered race participant will receive a T-shirt, refreshments after the race, plus a giveaway bag with various items including a ticket to a Fighting Owls basketball game and a commemorative cell phone stress reliever. Awards will be presented based on age groups and final times.

The race honors the memory of Heather L. Hurd, a history major at Harford Community College from 1999 to 2003, who was killed in 2008 by a distracted driver who was texting. The race was founded to raise funds for Remembrance Book Scholarships for Harford Community College students and to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving to children and adults alike.

Activities in the children’s area include bouncy houses, face painting, crafts and more in addition to trick or treating and interacting with Elsa, Anna and Olaf. Chuck E. Cheese will also be in attendance, giving out tokens to children who trick or treat at the event. The Chick-fil-A cow and Screech, the Harford Community College mascot, will also be at the event as will the Extreme Balloon Man. A costume contest for children participating in the trick or treat area will also be held.

Other special events include Harford Dance Theatre’s performance of a scene from “Harriet’s Happiest Halloween” and Amanda Peacock, Miss Atlantic Shores Outstanding Teen 2016, who will sing “All About That Safe,” her version of “All About that Bass,” that brings awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.

Activities outside the children’s area include the Maryland State Police’s seat belt convincer, which will demonstrate the impact of an automobile crash and the importance of wearing a seat belt, and DUI goggles that will simulate the impairment and danger caused by drunk driving. A tractor trailer will be on site so participants can see what a truck driver experiences while driving. A wrecked vehicle will be on display to show what can happen when a driver is distracted.

The registration fee for the race is $25 per person in advance (by noon on October 29) and $30 on race day. The cost for those under the age 18 and accompanied by a registered adult is $15 per person. Children 10 and under who want to participate in the Halloween events are free of charge but must be registered to participate. Pre-registration is available at www.harford.edu/heather.

Packet pickup for pre-registered participants will be held on Friday, October 30, at Harford Community College’s Susquehanna Center auxiliary gymnasium from 4 to 8 p.m.

Over the past six years, $100,000 has been raised by the race for Remembrance Book Scholarships for Harford Community College students. The goal this year is to raise $30,000 and to attract 500 runners and walkers.

For those unable to walk or run but who would like to participate, donations may be made to sponsor a participant running or walking in the race, or an outright donation may be made by visiting www.harford.edu/heather.

“Holding the race on Halloween allows us to make the event even more family friendly,” said Russell Hurd, Heather’s father. “It is our hope that exposing children to safe driving behaviors at an early age will prevent other families from experiencing the loss of a loved one due to a preventable accident.”

The presenting sponsor is Kent Schwab Allstate Agency. Silver Sponsors include AAA Mid-Atlantic/Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education, Blue Dot Services of Maryland, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, C&S Wholesale Grocers – North East, MD, Cowan Systems, LLC, Dixie Construction, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Law Offices of Jason Turchin and The Mirmiran Foundation. Bronze Sponsors include Autoeurotec Bel Air Fastlube, B. Michael & Sons, Jeffrey M. Foucault CPA, P.C., Kollman & Saucier, P.A., Laurel Bush Family Dentistry, Mars Super Markets, Inc., Next Generation Mechanic, Perluke Consulting Associates and Plaza Ford, Inc. Blue Sponsors include APG Federal Credit Union, B. Tate Hibschman Memorial Book Scholarship, Bearsch United Auto Center, Bike Doctor Bel Air, BK Trucking, Boyle Buick GMC, Brookhart’s Auto Transport & Towing, Buddy’s Auto Marine, Inc., Canby Motors Collision Repair, Churchville Auto Body, Conor Lynch Foundation, Cook Auto Aberdeen Chrysler, Corbin Fuel Company, Inc., Della Rose’s Avenue Tavern, DJ’s Car Care, First Choice Automotive, Fork Auto Body, George’s Customs Towing, Harford Bank, Heritage Mazda of Bel Air, Holzhauser’s Auto Service, JD’s Smokehouse, Jim Barbey Automotive, Inc., Klein’s ShopRite, Law Offices of Michael A. Freedman, P.A., McComas Funeral Home, P. A.,  MediaWise, Inc., Pat’s Pizzeria, Purnell Body Shop, Singer Auto & Tire Center, Stopdistractions.org, The Bike Shop of Bel Air, Thompson Toyota and Wine World Beer & Spirits.

Harford Community College is located at 401 Thomas Run Road in Bel Air. For more information, visit www.harford.edu/heather or call 443-412-2449.

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