Members of Mary Habla’s family in attended the Color Run. From left, cousins Marlene Betts and Leanne Skelton, brother Bruce Betts, sister Bonnie Roes, aunt Shirley Pingelsky, daughter Hillary Habla, sister Beverly Betts, husband Bobby Habla, and sister and brother-in-law Betsy and Rich Barker. Family traveled from as far away as Washington, D.C. to support each other and the event.
NORTHVILLE — Northville Central School students, family, community members and staff had a vividly good time June 1 at the 1st annual MaryElizabeth Habla Color Run.
The school’s spring wellness event was re-named this year in memory of beloved NCS math teacher, Mary Habla, who passed away in February. High school principal Kyle McFarland said the MaryElizabeth Habla Color Run will be a yearly tradition at the school, with all proceeds and donations, funding an annual math scholarship in Habla’s name.
“It was a great honor to be able to create an event and award in the name of MaryElizabeth Habla,” McFarland added. “I sincerely want to thank the family for letting us do this.”
The event raised over $3,000 from registration fees and anonymous donations, an amount McFarland said will fund the scholarship for over a dozen years. Ten members of Habla’s family, including her husband, daughter, siblings, cousins and an aunt, joined the 300-plus color runners to celebrate Habla’s life and memory in addition to raising the money to establish the award.
Students ran the mile-long course, which was laid out along an eight-block loop in the village, in grade-level groups. Adults and other attendees could run at any time, and all were barraged with dyed cornstarch by volunteer NCS faculty and staff at four different color stations along the route.
The school’s Community Leadership and Service students added a fun do-it-yourself obstacle course at the end of this year’s Color Run, featuring ascending-in-height gym mat barriers, an over-and-under path where runners alternately hurdled over and crawled under poles supported by folding chairs, and a football-style tire obstacle with tires donated by Northville businessman and boys’ JV basketball coach, Mike Kalkbrenner.
First Choice Financial Federal Credit Union also generously donated several cases of water and provided volunteers to operate the “hydration station.” Additionally, 8th-grader Morgan Mackey used her own money to purchase a bracelet for each of the 300 goody bags handed out to the registered runners.
McFarland stated he was grateful for the help from his staff, as well as, the assistance of community members like Phil Schuyler, a teacher at HFM BOCES and Northville resident, who filmed the event with his drone and edited together a video that will be available to view on the school’s website and Facebook page.