GTDF Announces Running Event Fund Grant Recipients

GTDF Announces Running Event Fund Grant Recipients

Each year, hundreds of runners travel to Titusville to

participate in the growing number of recreational

running events that celebrate the rich heritage and

physical beauty of the greater Titusville area. Now, race

event coordinators have a new source of support to

help make runners – and the friends and family they

bring with them – feel welcome.

The Greater Titusville Development Foundation has established the Recreational Running Event Fund in order to support projects, activities, and amenities that enhance local race events and help provide a memorable experience for race participants, volunteers, and spectators. Seed money for the fund came from the Titusville Leisure Services Foundation.

GTDF is announcing the recipients of Recreational Running Event Fund (RREF) grants for 2017 events:

 Friends of Drake Well will use their grant to enhance two popular local events:

o Meet-U in 5 & ½ participants will receive welcome packets that include Titusville Chamber gift cards and restaurant/shopping gift certificates and discounts. This event, which takes place on May 20, 2017, features unique 5 and 13 mile trail races that start and finish at Drake Well Museum and Park and utilize the Gerard Hiking Trail in Oil Creek State Park. Proceeds from this event benefit the museum’s Mobile Energy Education Training Unit (MEET-U) educational outreach program. For race registration information go to

Drake Well Marathon & ½, scheduled for August 6, 2017, will offer family-friendly outdoor activities for race participants, their families and spectators. )Activities that the RREF grant will support include a Bicycle Rodeo, a Bouncy House, and Old-fashioned 19th century games and activities. Proceeds from this event benefit the museum’s educational, interpretive and community programming. Race registration information can be found at 

 A grant to the March of Dimes Oil Region March for Babies will allow them to bring back the very popular balloon artist, Real Magic Steve. This event draws 300 – 350 walkers and runners from surrounding areas, who raise money to support the mission of the March of Dimes, which is to fund research, provide education, and advocate so that all babies will be born healthy. This year’s event will take place on April 22 at Pitt-Titusville. Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. with the walk leaving at 10:00 a.m. Walkers will be treated to lunch, live dance performances, music, bounce house, building with Home Depot, ice cream and cotton candy upon their return to campus.


Adam Peterson, an avid runner who coordinates the Oil Valley Race Series, will use his RREF grant to purchase safety equipment that can be used by any Titusville area race coordinator.   Items to be purchased with the grant include orange safety vests, “Race in Progress” signs and pedestals, and pop-up canopies for registration tables and finish lines to protect race volunteers from the elements. These items will be stored at a central location and made available to eligible event coordinators upon request. For more information about borrowing these items, contact Peterson at 815-673-8825 . 

 The Titusville YMCA will use their RREF grant to help launch a new event, the Trail of Treats, a Halloween-themed race to be held on October 28, 2017.  The event will include a timed race through the trails of Oil Creek State Park and a fun run around the dike at Drake Well Museum. Participants in the fun run, who are encouraged to come in costume, will be provided with trick-or-treat bags to collect candy, and all participants will be treated to hot cider at the end of the race. The RREF grant will help purchase treat bags and refreshments. 

 The YWCA of Titusville will use their RREF grant to purchase

 A commercial grade bounce house that will be used for the Race Against Racism (April 1, 2017) and the 5K Turkey Trot (November 23, 2017) that will also be available for use by other Titusville area race coordinators and not-for-profit community events. Non-profits using the bounce house will be asked to make a nominal contribution for use of the bounce house, which will be used to repair or replace the bounce house when it is no longer safe to be used. Contact Ashleigh English at the YWCA for more information. 

Start and Finish banners. The banners will be generic so that they may be used by any Titusville area running event. The banners will be made in-house at Drake Well Museum, who will loan poles for the banners to groups that need them for their race. 

 The United Way of the Titusville Region will hold an event new to the area on July 21, 2017. The Twilight Run is a non-timed family 5k run/walk held at sunset with special lighting along the route. A RREF will pay for kits of glow items for participants to increase their visibility and safety during the event. 

 The City of Titusville will use a RREF grant to purchase six vertical banner poles to be placed on both sides of the road at main routes entering the City.  The banner poles will be used to welcome visitors and advertise running and other events and will be in the same style as the new street sign poles being installed this spring. Event coordinators should contact the city for details about purchasing and placing banners on the poles. 

The idea for the fund came from comments made by Tom Jennings, director of the Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs, to local officials. “The OC 100 draws more than 400 runners annually from nearly every state in the country, as well as several international runners. They make a significant economic impact on our community, not just during the weekend of the event, but throughout the year when they visit for training runs,” explained Deb Eckelberger, Chair of the Titusville Trail Town Action Team and Director of Business Development at Titusville Community Development Agencies. “Tom pointed out that we could do more to make our visitors feel welcome, and encourage them to come back for additional years. In partnership with Titusville Leisure Services Foundation, GTDF established the Recreational Running Event Fund to help accomplish that.” 

Local groups rose to the challenge. “They talked to one another about how they could work together, and the result was an impressive variety of proposals for things that will benefit not just one group or event, but the community as a whole,” said GTDF Vice President Terry Funk. “I’ve said before that the strength of Titusville lies in the fantastic people that live here, and the collaboration and generosity of the proposals that we got for this opportunity show that once again.”


For more information about the Recreational Running Event Fund, contact GTDF at 814-827-4756 

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