Hundreds come running to keep Lake Mohawk beautiful Second annual Askin & Hooker event on Labor Day
Sole Sisters warming up to music prior to the race.
Photos by Debra-Ann Kretschmer
BY DEBRA-ANN KRETSCHMER SPARTA- A cool and sunny, 52-degree morning on Lake Mohawk, brought nearly 250 runners to the Lake Mohawk Plaza on Labor Day. The event was The 2nd Annual Askin & Hooker Labor Day 5k Run/Walk to benefit the Lake Mohawk Preservation Foundation. According to Bill Askin, a Sparta lawyer and longtime Board Member of the foundation, the non-profit is an all-volunteer organization with no employees or expenses, dedicated to preserving open spaces for recreation in and around Lake Mohawk. The monies raised are dedicated to Lake Mohawk, the Upper Lake, and the Alpine Pools for years to come. This includes providing education to the community on how to keep the lake clean and researching new lake technologies, Askin said. Last year’s inaugural 5K event raised roughly $5,000 towards preserving the watershed. Some of the larger sponsors of the event included Bill Askin’s own firm Askin & Hooker, LLC, Realty Eexecutives, Reliant Title and Settlement Services, Ponerosa Studios, Train Creative, First Hope Bank, Newton Veterinary Hopsital, Sparta Dental Arts, Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks, Dykstra Associates, Culligan Water, Mortgages for America and Juventus Academy Training Center. The emcee of the event was Orlando Rodriguez, often the emcee for the Ski Hawks, Lake Mohawk’s water competition team. Runners of all ages came from all over to participate and for different reasons. John Saarmann of Byram Township came to run because it was local and, as he said, a nice race on a beautiful day. He said he hoped to finish 3 miles because he is getting ready for an upcoming race in Netcong. Gerry McCoey was running to keep her lake and community beautiful. She is concerned about the sediment, run-off and trash that potentially threatens the lake. Danielle Terreri of Roxbury was a last-minute entrant, running to finish and to preserve the lake. Prior to the start of the 5K Run/Walk a group of women calling themselves the “Sole Sisters," rallied runners to warm up to Justin Timberlake’s song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Sparta’s own William Wasager came over the finish line first as the winner of the 5K, although it was not a competitive event. All participants received a specialized moisture-wicking t-shirt and goody bag.