Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Dispelling any rumors to the contrary, Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg issued the following statement Monday, addressed to "The Running Community":
Subj: The Park Forest Scenic 10 in 2007 and Beyond
The Village of Park Forest has the good fortune to host the Park Forest Scenic 10, one of the premier races in the Chicago area and beyond. We are very proud that the race has been selected so many times as CARA’s best race in Chicagoland. For this we have many to thank: most particularly Bud James, our wonderful Race Director for many, many years; Martha Davidson, our Race Administrator; plus a host of Park Foresters and many others who make this race such a success. It is a major event in our Village.
For some time we have known that Bud and Martha soon would be giving up their long tenure at the helm of this race. The 30th Anniversary race on Labor Day, September 3, 2007, will be Bud and Martha’s last in their leadership roles and will be a gala race of the standards you have come to expect. We are expecting a terrific 30th anniversary event on Labor Day, one which again will involve so many runners and non-runners alike. You won’t want to miss it.
For 2008 and beyond we are studying alternatives related to management and budget of this wonderful event. The Village has NOT canceled the Park Forest Scenic 10 in 2008 and beyond. However, at the direction of the Village Board, we are studying the race to correct problems that have developed and to find effective solutions to them. We see opportunities to go forward and are studying various possibilities that are being presented to the Village. We are working with the running community to ensure the best possible scenarios for this important tradition, including acquiring new sponsors who can help to offset the costs associated with it. We are hopeful our combined efforts will allow the race to continue and to be as good as – and perhaps even better – than it has been in the past.
The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club formed an ad hoc committee some months back to study ways of assisting to keep the Park Forest Scenic 10 running well into the future. The committee, chaired by club member Gary Kopycinski, has met several times. Committee members Joe Baska and Mel Muchnik made a presentation to the Village Board Saturday, February 24, and expressed the willingness of running club members to continue working with the Village.
Committee member and Park Forest resident Mel Muchnik shared his thoughts on Ostenburg's statement, "The Village has been wonderfully supportive of this race. It is just not accurate to say the 2008 race has been canceled. That was a miscommunication. Mayor Ostenburg's clarifying statement is certainly welcome. We look forward to the future of the Park Forest Scenic 10. The Village is fairly looking at how best to proceed, and how to ensure it has proper management, participation and is appropriately budgeted."