There will be people running all over downtown tonight.
Actually, some will be running and some will be walking, but everybody participating in the ninth annual Run in the Mist will be moving in support of the children of Niagara Falls— particularly the 1,300 or so who learn and play each year at the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club.
This year’s run, which begins with registration at 5:30 p.m. today at Third and Old Falls streets, will be the first under new club director, Rebecca Vincheski, who took the reigns from longtime Executive Director Diane Quarantello in December.
Vincheski, who came from the Buffalo Boys and Girls Club where she was chief operating officer for 15 years, loves her new post in Niagara Falls. She says she is asked the same question wherever she goes: “Where is Diane?”
Quarantello, now director of program quality, is back working with the many city children who attend the multitude of programs at the very busy club.
She really wanted to get a direct, more hands-on role, Vincheski said.
“She’s getting to do what she loves and I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “She has got to be the best program person I’ve ever encountered. She has ideas for programming that blow my mind. And the way she is with the kids, you can’t train that.”
Quarantello is also happy to be back working with the children.
“I love being back in my old position,” she said. “It really suits me.”
As for the run, officials are hoping for a great turnout to raise money and to draw attention to the many club programs, including gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball and summer camp at the club house, which is located at 725 17th St.
“It’s great publicity,” Vincheski said of the run. “And it’s a great route.”
Sign-up for tonight’s run starts at 5:30 p.m. with the 3 kilometer race starting at 7 p.m. All runners are welcome, of course, but so are walkers, including moms who want to walk the route with strollers. The youngest runner registered, thus far, is 12, Vincheski said. The club’s competitive cheerleading team will welcome runners at a water stop at the Aquarium of Niagara.
Afterwards, there will be a party on Old Falls Street, with submarine sandwiches donated by Wegmans, the race sponsor. There will also be granola bars, cookies and one free ticket for adult runners who wish to indulge in a cold beer after the race. Food and drinks are free to the runners. Their families can enjoy the sandwiches and other treats for $5 per person.
Annually, there are usually about 120 to 160 participants in Run in the Mist, club officials say. Registration is $30. For more information or to donate to the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club, call 282-7181 or visit online at www.nfbgc.org.