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Are playing sports and being in shape important to you? These things were important to Joe Schuler. He was a high school athlete that loved running and basketball. After Joe passed away while running in the summer of 2002, his family and friends began hosting a 5K run in Newfane in his memory.

"This race is a simple reminder not only of the life that Joe lived, but also of the connections that we all have to one another," said Kurt Schuler, Joe's father.

He said his favorite part of the run is "the help it does and seeing the community come out and make it to the race."

This year the race was held Nov. 3 and it raised about $11,000. The proceeds from the race have gone to various organizations throughout the community.

"We always try to make the race right before Thanksgiving, so we are able to make a difference at the food pantry," Kurt Schuler said.

"Considering I know the family, it is an honor to run the race in memory of Joe, and the race is fun," said Stephen Lehmann, a sophomore at Newfane High School. "Every year I look forward to running it with my friends and family."

Haliegh Seeloff is a sophomore at Newfane High School.