The Run4Sam 4-mile/10k run has a long history of giving back to the community and to the County Parks.  This year, the non-profit will equip the County Park System with three fixed AED units as well as replacing two obsolete portable AED units to the same type used by other county agencies and Berks County EMS organizations.

Run4Sam has been rated one of the most scenic and best-organized events around.  Participants enjoy the course which follows the winding Tulpehocken Creek and mostly flat and shaded Union Canal Trail which features some historic landmarks along the way.

Gring’s Mill and other County parks host many special events like the Run4Sam as well as large festivals like the “Heritage Festival” (coming up Sunday, Oct. 7th).  While the County Park Rangers have several portable AED units, this gift from Run4Sam provides defibrillators in several of the busier parks that will allow swift reaction in case of a heart-related emergencies.

The American Heart Association strongly encourages companies and businesses to have AED units easily accessible to allow for a 3-5 minute response time. The fixed units will be installed at the Gring’s Mill Recreation Area, the Berks County Heritage Center and the Bingaman Nature Center in Antietam Lake Park.

The Run4Sam has supported the County Parks and Gring’s Mill with similar contributions each year since the first race event in 2008:

  • Over 40 flowering trees planted along the Union Canal trail to enhance the beauty.
  • 2 award winning riparian buffer installations along the Tulpehocken Creek to reduce erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and improve stream quality.
  • $10,000.00 to construct a pavilion, which benefits park goers as well as rental reimbursement to the park.
  • 2 ramps installed north and south of the stone bridge in the park to aid watercraft exiting and entering the creek.

The Run4Sam is well known for its philanthropy; as well as being a premier race event.  Proceeds from the Run4Sam support the Samuel Brooklyn Reed Memorial Scholarship managed by the Berks County Community Foundation with over $20,000.00 awarded to local students thus far. Each year the non-profit also gives back to the community by donating to local charities instead of offering participation trophies and medals.