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Gilford principal plans Newtown memorial marathon

GILFORD - The town's elementary school principal has organized an event to honor the teachers and administrators who died in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Principal Danielle Bolduc said she was "devastated, angry and committed to finding a way to make a difference" for the people of the town and its schools, so she has organized a marathon to be held on April 14.

"We knew that the principal and school psychologist died running towards the gunman and teachers died protecting children," Bolduc said. "We wanted to honor these courageous educators."

As an athlete, her thoughts went to running races. The marathon will cover 26 miles to represent the 26 victims, with each mile dedicated to one of those lost at Sandy Hook. April 14 will mark the four-month anniversary of the shootings.

Schools across the state are invited to organize a team of one to 26 educators - teachers, para-professionals, custodians, food service, administrative assistants, IT directors, administrators, etc. - to represent their school.

There is no limit to the number of teams a school can send, and hundreds of educators from around New Hampshire have already committed to the race, Bolduc said.

The marathon, a 13-mile loop that will be run twice by each team, will start at 9:30 a.m. at Gilford Elementary School and pass by all three elementary schools in Laconia and end back at Gilford Elementary, Bolduc said.

Each runner can choose which mile or miles they would like to run. Each mile will "cost" one school supply. For example, those who run one mile can drop off a box of crayons. Those who run all 26 miles need to offer 26 school supply items.

All items will be given to the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Each team registered would pay 26 school items. The items can be dropped off at the starting point the day of the race.

For those who don't run, volunteers will be needed for water stops and other locations. PTAs are invited to get involved, perhaps staffing a water stop as a team. Also, donations of food for the runners and mile marker signs are needed.

Registration forms are available and can be sent to Danielle Bolduc, GES Principal, 76 Belknap Mountain Road, Gilford, NH 03824 or by email to dbolduc@gilford.k12.nh.us.

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Dan Seufert may be reached at dseufert@newstote.com.



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