The Furry Scurry was held on Saturday, October 9 to benefit His Hands Extended Sanctuary, which is located outside of St. Paris on Dialton Road. The sanctuary was struggling financially due to being forced to close their clinic during the COVID shutdown and then their veterinarian resigned. The future was looking bleak for the sanctuary.

Lisa Blake, event coordinator, had thought of holding a 5K event for the sanctuary over five years ago. When she contacted the Sanctuary for permission to sponsor a 5K to benefit the sanctuary, she was told, “Your timing could not be more perfect.”

Blake didn’t know that the vet had resigned when she contacted the Sanctuary. Blake said, “It’s not my timing. My timing was five years ago. God heard your prayers and His timing is always perfect.”

The event was held at the Depot Coffeehouse and the Simon Kenton Trail where 99 participants competed in a 5K or 10K race. A 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk or a 1 Mile Mutt Strutt was also offered for participants. Runners also participated virtually and uploaded a photo and time to the event facebook page. Over 30 dogs also participated in the various events. Blake relied on her 15 volunteers for water stations, registration, awards, photographer and traffic safety. Together the group raised $5,600 for His Hands Extended Sanctuary.

Pre registered participants received goody bags filled with numerous items as well as a t-shirt and finishers medal. Pre registered dogs received a doggy goody bag and all dogs received a treat bag at the finish line.

Participant Mike Gutierrez shared his story and served others as an example of hard work and determination.

Gutierrez has cerebral palsy. His parents were told that he would never walk. With lots of support from his parents and Gutierrez’s own determination, he not only walks, he runs. He ran the 10K in the Furry Scurry on October 9 as well as many other local races. He is currently training for a the Happy Half Marathon in Springfield to be held in August.

Joe Rose is a wonderful mentor for Gutierrez. Rose finished his 5K and then went back out on the course to find Gutierrez and run back in with him for the 10K. They share an amazing bond.

The race was not only a successful fundraiser, it also brought together people of all ages. Whether a walker, jogger, runner or dog walker, everyone did something good for his or herself by exercising and taking in the beauty of the Simon Kenton Trail. Everyone also participated in doing something positive for our community. His Hands Extended Sanctuary provides a crucial service to the community with their low-cost clinic. They also take in senior dogs and cats as well as sick and injured pets.

The volunteer group sponsored a race in 2020 called “Run with Heart,” which benefited two local families of babies in need of heart surgery. The group is currently praying about the 2022 race and considering organizations to benefit from next year’s race.

Furry Scurry business sponsors were: ARC Staffing Solutions, B Edwards Surveying, Donay Chiropractic, Johnson Welded Products, KTH Parts Industries, Parker Trutec Urbana, Snyder’s Heating & Cooling, Thrivent and Vallance Okinawan Martial Arts. We also received generous donations from individuals wanting to support the Sanctuary.

The results from the races are as follows.

5K results

Boys under 12: first place, Noah George 31.04; second place, Bently Dingy 40.33.

Girls under 12: first place Hannah George 32.00; second place Haley Whitehead 32.07; third place Madison Whitehead 32.08.

Female 13 – 35: first place, Kayla Reese 31.06; second place MacKenzie Baumgartner 34.16; third place, Jennifer Espich 36.51.

Female over 36: first place and overall winner, Karen Baker 26.53; second place, Tammi Flaherty 31.06; third place, Emy Varaufhese 31.48.

Male over 36: first place, Linz Vallelil 28.29; second place, Joe Rose 32.10; third place, Daniel Gamble 33.27.

10K results

Under 35 female: first place and overall winner, Kate Tremblay 50.35; second place, Olivia Huffman 57.07; third place, Emilee Gieseke 57.55.

Under 35 males: first place, Samuel Gieseke 52.50; second place, Mike Gutierrez 1.24.11.

Over 35 females: first place, Kelly Jacobs 54.13, second place, Mary J Huffman 57.04; third place, Kely Pryfogel 1.01.00.

Over 35 male: first place, Tom Huffman 54.13. photos

Joe Rose (pictured left) and Mike Gutierrez (pictured right) participated in the Furry Scurry. Rose (pictured left) and Mike Gutierrez (pictured right) participated in the Furry Scurry. Submitted photos
Benefits His Hands Extended Sanctuary

Submitted story

Information from Lisa Blake