This is the address E. Packer Wilbur gave to about 60 club members at a dinner in Westport CT on December 12, 2013
Thirty-six years. It’s hard to believe isn’t it?
What we are celebrating tonight is you – the volunteers who have made our race one of the very best anywhere. This team has done it all, from the days when we had finishers backed all the way up to the church (when I was in charge) to the mostly smooth running machine we have now.
Some of you have worked every race, many of you have been here for almost all of them.
This room contains, within our collective minds, a huge amount of stored up knowledge as to how to administer a large race. Remember, handling the finish of 5,000 people in a five mile race is roughly equivalent to 20,000 to 25,000 in a marathon where finishers are much more spread out. So, this is a huge achievement.
The club wouldn’t exist and there would be no fantastic Thanksgiving Day Race (okay – Turkey Trot!) without this roomful of exceptional people.
So, how do we make it persist? How do we turn 36 years into 100 years? Our investment advisor and present Chairman – Peter Donovan – says that, if we stick around long enough, these silver picture frames will be rare artifacts – worth a lot of money in 2077.
The answer to how do we make the club persist is right here in this room. Participation is what makes the club work. All of the new energy, new ideas and initiative will come from right here and from the people who join us as the years go by. The ongoing collective energy we have right here in this room will formulate these future questions and will provide the ongoing answers.
One thing we are doing now that is important to our future is putting a small amount of money aside in an endowment account each year. This account is small now but it will grow and help to keep the club self-sufficient and strong. If you have any extra cash lying around, remember that we are a 501(c)(3) charity which means that gifts are tax deductible. So, please include us in your long range planning – help us make it to 2077!
In closing, I want to give my thanks to this fantastic group of people, to our hard working Board of Directors and, of course, to Jeff Palmer our President and chief organizer. Thank you!