for immediate release
Bigger, better Monument Challenge set for April 21, says Readshaw
HARRISBURG, Apr. 10 - As promised after the inaugural event last year, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, is making good on his promise for a bigger and better Monument Challenge this year.
The April 21 events at the historic Daniel Lady Farm on Hanover Road in Gettysburg will benefit Readshaw's Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project. The farm is owned by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.
In addition to the 5k Run/Walk and one-mile fun run, many Civil War-related activities will be held at the farm along with a Civil War ball that evening at American Legion Post 202 in Gettysburg.
"Last year, we had around 70 reenactors encamped at the farm," said Readshaw. "This year the number likely will exceed 300 and include infantry, cavalry and at least five cannon. And we're well ahead of last year in the number of registered runners and walkers." Participants in the run and walk raise donations for the monument project. Late registrations will be taken on-site until 9:15 a.m. on the day of the race. Awards will be presented for race and walk finishes in several age categories and for the amount of donations individual participants bring in.
As they did last year, the Harrisburg Area Roadrunners Club will co-host the race and provide finish times for participants. And, as last year, Readshaw predicts there will be plenty of time elapsed on the race clock when he chugs across the finish line.
"I may not finish well, but with our completely redesigned Challenge T-shirt, I'll look spiffy," said Readshaw, looking for a bright side in anticipation of being thrashed by the race field, "exhausted, but spiffy."
While Readshaw will trail the back of the pack, leading off will be William O'Brennan of Easton, Pa. O'Brennan, of Cherokee Indian descent, will run in Indian dress as a tribute to the Cherokee scouts of the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry. The scouts skirmished with Union troops on the Lady Farm during the Battle of Gettysburg. After the race, O'Brennan will wear the uniform of the Cherokee scouts. From sunset to 10 p.m., he and other 2nd South Carolina volunteers will present Gettysburg vignettes by torchlight.
"We understand this is a unique and dramatic program," said Readshaw. The farm was a Confederate artillery site and field hospital. Legendary cavalry Gen. Jeb Stuart was there during part of the battle.
All the living history events at the Lady Farm are free and open to the public, though donations would be appreciated. There will be a food vendor on site.
For those who want to add music to their Monument Challenge experience, from 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. the Victorian Dance Ensemble and the 28th Pennsylvania Regimental Brass Band will host a Civil War ball at the Gettysburg American Legion Post 202 at 123 Baltimore St. Details are available through the dance group's Web site at www.civilwardance.org
Readshaw said this year's Monument Challenge is dedicated to Dan DeLash of Elizabethtown. DeLash, recovering from a major heart attack, has been at the forefront of "Readshaw's Raiders," as the monument project volunteers have come to be known.
"It's our way of telling Dan to get well and expressing our appreciation for his crucial assistance," Readshaw said.
Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 717-783-0411.