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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:09:21 21:52:27

MARIEL WATERS / FOR GREATER PITTSTON PROGRESS From left, are YMCA Jack-O-Lantern Jog organizers Jennifer Borton and Leslie Widdick. The second annual Jack-O-Lantern Jog to benefit the Greater Pittston YMCA will be held Sunday, Oct. 22, on the Luzerne County National Recreation Trail. Register for the event at the Y.

Fall is here and all the Halloween festivities will soon begin.

The Greater Pittston YMCA will start off October with its second annual Jack-O-Lantern Jog.

The Jack-O-Lantern Jog, which will be held Sunday, Oct. 22, will have runners taking part in Halloween costumes.

The run helps the YMCA provide services to Pittston and surrounding communities.

“We are a non-profit organization that prides itself on being a great place for all ages to come and benefit from the wide array of services we offer,” said CEO Leslie Widdick.

The idea to do a October-themed run fundraiser came about through two of the YMCA’s employees — Maddi Dworak and Jennifer Borton, along with Widdick.

“We wanted to do something fun and since it was October, bringing in Halloween seemed fitting, and the theme has never been done before,” said Borton.

The YMCA has hosted many different runs, but what sets the Jack-O-Lantern Jog apart from the others — aside from the costumes — is the run’s location, Widdick said.

This run will follow the route of the Luzerne County National Recreation Trail, along the Susquehanna River.

“Not only will the run benefit the Y but will also showcase a hidden gem in downtown Pittston,” Widdick said of the run’s benefit for the trail.

“A lot of people don’t realize the trail is there or how beautiful it is,” she added. “We wanted to something different to stand out, and that’s when we decided to utilize the trail down by the river.”

The Jack-O-Lantern Jog is a 3-mile run. Registration will be held at the YMCA from 7:30 to 9:45 a.m. and the run begin at 10:30. The event is not only for runners. There also will be a 1-mile fun run for kids and their families starting at 10 a.m.

Costumes are recommended and encouraged, but they are not required. Kids who finish the run will receive a goody bag. There also will be awards presented for top male and female runners. If you come in costume, there will be prizes and awards for best costume for children and adults.

One of the big changes that has been set in motion for the second annual run fundraiser is the addition of vendors. Borton said she thought bringing vendors would serve a dual purpose; to draw in more participants and to support small local businesses. Some of the vendors that will be attending the event are Sensi, Advocare and LuLaRoe.

“With such tremendous amounts of compliments on how well the run was last year, our goal is to be bigger and better than last year and to keep reaching beyond our expectations,” Widdick said.



mwaters@pittstonprogress.com