Laura Kellner and her husband, Greg, are always looking for their next race. They travel throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. running a variety of races and enjoying every minute. Travel isn't required, though; they are always on the lookout for races near their home in Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County, Maryland.
"We love to run, but never had much luck finding races close to home," Laura recently explained.
Lacking local options, Laura did what many would not. She organized her own.
And the annual Run for the Bay 5K was born.
By every measure, the race, with a scenic course along the Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail, is a spectacular success. Over the past two years, the Run for the Bay 5K has welcomed more than 600 runners--and raised more than $15,000 to support CBF.
Laura made it all happen. Despite an already full schedule--she works full-time at Liberty Mutual and she and Greg have two teenaged sons, Ryan and Troy--Laura managed every detail.
It hasn't been easy. Planning takes several months and includes everything from securing donations from corporate sponsors to managing a variety of logistics like volunteers, water stations, race shirt design, photography, and so much more.
When it came time for Laura to pick a charity partner, the decision was easy.
"The Bay has always been an important part of my life. When I was younger, my father and I loved to fish together. After retiring, he became a commercial crabber. My father passed away in 1993 and the Bay holds so many memories of him--of my childhood. I still love getting out on the water--it's my happy place. I wanted to help make sure future generations have the opportunity my father and I did to fall in love with the Bay. CBF was the obvious choice."
As the race's sole beneficiary, the funds raised by the Run for the Bay 5K have helped CBF do some amazing work--getting students and teachers out on the water with our hands-on environmental education program, planting oysters and trees that will help make local waterways cleaner, and protecting the Bay's fish and other wildlife.
CBF couldn't be more grateful . . . for Laura's passion and commitment, for the generosity of the dozens of volunteers who donate their time and expertise to make this event a success, and for the hundreds of runners who participate.
Inspired by Laura's story? You can help raise funds to support CBF's work--Become a Bayraiser! Visit cbf.org/bayraiser to learn more.
Together, we will Save the Bay!
--Brie Wilson, CBF's Donor Communications Manager