The inaugural 5K Earth Day Hippy Run/Walk embraced the bygone era of peace, love and the appreciation of nature along the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Trail on Saturday.
More than 150 runners/walkers, some clad in tie-dyes, bell bottoms, and peace signs, ran 3.1 scenic miles along the Lehigh River beginning and ending at the newly dedicated Lehighton Trailhead of the D&L National Heritage Trail on Stanley Hoffman Boulevard.
"This was a great turnout for a first-time race," said Rich Gilbert of Mogorun, who provided the official timing of the race.
The race was part of the 2014 class project for Leadership Carbon.
The purpose of the race is to build scholarship funds for students of the Carbon Career & Technical Institute that are pursuing secondary education.
Dave Reinhold, administrative director of CCTI, said, "I greatly appreciate Leadership Carbon and what they are doing for us."
According to Lee Romito of Leadership Carbon, the goal of this year's class was to raise money for education. The total raised will not be available until next week.
"We wanted to build a scholarship fund for students of the trades. There is a shortage of skilled laborers, and local industries are having a hard time finding young employees that know a trade," Romito said.
The scholarship funds will be targeted to one CCTI student from each "sending" school: Lehighton, Palmerton, Weatherly, Jim Thorpe and Panther Valley.
Members of Leadership Carbon's 2014 Class are Lisa Bleicher, Nicole Beckett, Kayla Everett, Lee Romito, Cindy Gasper, Chastity Miller, Lynn Shupp, Amanda Miller, Colleen Dykas, Pam Heydt, Pat Angolovich, Kathy Ruff and facilitator Judy Bowen.
The race was accompanied by the dedication of the new Lehighton Trailhead located on Stanley Hoffman Boulevard. According to Borough Manager Nicole Beckett, "it was the perfect fit."
Beckett also pointed out that this race required the planning and dedication of many people and organizations.
"Leadership Carbon, Borough of Lehighton, Lehighton Chamber of Commerce and the D & L National Heritage Corridor are all to thank," Beckett said. "It is amazing what happens when a community gets together."