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Youngwood ‘Gingerbread Man’ race raises money for autism support | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Youngwood ‘Gingerbread Man’ race raises money for autism support

Jeff Himler

Close to 300 runners endured humid conditions to hit the trail Sunday morning for the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism near Youngwood.

The event, which began and ended on the main campus of Westmoreland County Community College, raised money for Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Autism Connection of PA. A half marathon and other 5K and 10K races took runners over rural roads and a portion of the Five Star Trail.

The run included the only half marathon planned in the Greensburg area this year, according to race director Jessica Gardner of Gingerbread Man Running Company, which organized the event. Major sponsor Tri-Medical Rehab Supply chose the race’s charitable beneficiary.

According to Executive Director Lu Randall, Autism Connection provides support and information for people of all ages and all stages of the autism spectrum. The group, which fields about 130 calls for help each month and provides a weekly electronic newsletter to about 12,000 people, is independently funded.

“This race is really critical to helping us keep our mission moving forward,” she said.

The group will hold an informational meeting, “Introduction to Autism,” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 in its offices at 35 Wilson St., No. 101.

Visit autismofpa.org for more information about the nonprofit.


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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
John Jamison, left, of Hempfield, and Jennifer Aleandri, of Salem, take a break after running in the 5K portion of the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood. They are both members of the Run Greensburg running group. The race raised money for the nonprofit Autism Connection of PA.
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Runners round a turn at the start of the 5K race course in the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood. The race raised money for the nonprofit Autism Connection of PA.
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Ed Hlebechuk, 61, of Latrobe, who normally races with Team Red, White and Blue, carried a flag as he prepared to run in the half marathon portion of the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood. For this race, he joined a team from the Building Bodeez gym in Derrry Township. The race raised money for the nonprofit Autism Connection of PA.
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Race director Jessica Gardner explains the course to runners set to start the 10K portion of the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood. The event raised money for the nonprofit Autism Connection of PA.
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Amy Moody, 38, of Greensburg, crosses the finish line first, with a time of 34:16, in the 5K portion of the inaugural Gingerbread Man Labor Day Run for Autism on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Westmoreland County Community College campus near Youngwood. The event raised money for the nonprofit Autism Connection of PA.
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