By Joyce M. Johnson
Special to the Beacon Journal
Guests went the distance and helped cross the finish line at a ‘‘blue-tie’’ gala Friday evening to raise money for the Akron Marathon, now celebrating its 10th year.
More than 425 people gathered at Quaker Station for dinner, dancing and a live auction at the formal event, hosted by marathon founders Steve and Jeannine Marks.
“I’m so very proud and never thought we would get to this level,” Steve Marks said. “It’s great because we want this to last for generations.”
Sedell Kamenir said that her husband, 86-year-old Bernie Kamenir, runs 4.7 miles every day and has been in every marathon since it started.
“The race is great because even casual fitness people can be a part of it,” said Bob Zajac.
“I run the two half marathons in Akron every year,” said Dr. Michael Passero, who attended with Dr. Parul Gujarathi.
“It’s a wonderful event that gets people moving,” said Nick Betro, who attended with his wife, Ana.
Ruthie George added, “It’s a great mix of people, those who are runners and those who care about Akron.”
Friends Mike and Julie Pasternak, Melissa Johnson and husband Bob Kazar, and Amy and George Murray came out to show their support. Musician Michael Stanley provided entertainment.
All proceeds benefit the Akron Marathon Sustainability Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.
Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corp., said, “This is our major fundraiser of the year and we hope to raise $30,000 here tonight.”
Garry and Sandy Moneypenny enjoyed the festivities.
Garry said, “The marathon is such a nice, healthy, positive thing and it has clearly grown in size and reputation.”