Hero Fund America swaps signature events


By Patsy Nicosia

The road calls and the run must go on.
With that in mind, Hero Fund America is flipping its two signature events.
HFA’s 5th annual Tour for First Responders, usually a fun, fall ride through back roads to some New York State destination, has been moved to June 11-13.
And HFA’s Run 4 the Hills, its eighth, an even more fun run through the hills of Sharon Springs that honors fire, EMS, and police workers and volunteers, has been moved to October 2.
It’s all part of trying to navigate the world of COVID, said Patty Johnstone, an HFA board member and vice president.
Both of last year’s events were cancelled because of COIVD.
The Tour for First Responders Hudson River Valley 2021 will run from Saratoga to Catskill and will be limited to 10 cars; restaurants and hotels along the three-day route are working with organizers to keep everyone safe, Ms. Johnstone said.
“And really, 10 cars is more manageable for us. In the past, with 14 or 15 cars, people would get lost or keep passing each other…That was part of the fun, but 10 cars will be easier—and just as much fun.”
The tour is a timed event, but participants shoot for the optimal time for the route—not the fastest.
They’re given a written list of directions before they head out, so cheaters beware: help like GPS and Google Maps aren’t allowed.
There are stops at fire stations along the way, where HFA board members explain their grants and fundraising; even in 2020, nearly $20,000 in grants were awarded to 18 agencies around New York State.
“This event will help us to continue to provide assistance to those serving in emergency services who have faced such enormous challenges over the past year, said Garth Roberts, HFA founder.
“We remain committed to our ongoing fundraising efforts so that we can continue to support first responders and the communities they serve.”

So far, Tour for First Responders has six cars signed up; go to Motorsportsreg.com for more information and to register.
Details are still being worked out for October’s Run 4 the Hills.
Runners and walkers will likely be sent out in heats, Ms. Johnstone said, with the number of participants capped at 500.
There will also be a virtual component.
Moving the event to fall has its own advantages, Mr. Johnstone said.
The weather will be better for runners and the country should be in a better place with COVID.
“We expected 2020 to be our biggest year,” Ms. Johnstone said. “Now it will be 2021.”