Family Fun at McHugh 5k and Pee Wee Run/Walk

Park hosted eighth annual Dennis P. McHugh 5K Run/Walk and Pee-Wee Run on Saturday, which this year raised money for the Highview Playground and and the Coughlan Family Benefit

Run for Fun!

This slogan appeared on T-shirts worn by volunteers and participants in the Dennis P. McHugh Foundation’s eighth annual  5K run/walk and Pee-Wee Run at Flywheel Park in Piermont. The event helped raise money for the Highview Playground in Nanuet along with the Coughlan Family Benefit.

Dennis P. McHugh was a Blauvelt resident and FDNY firefighter from Engine 22, Ladder 13, who died in the September 11 attacks. The Foundation was created by some of his family members to honor McHugh’s memory, and originally its efforts went towards helping to build a library within Flywheel Park.

“It’s actually very nice that they’re doing something to support the Coughlan family and very, very generous that they’re doing something to support the Highview Playground, so the Playground Committee is really appreciative, especially because it shows how far-reaching the love for our old Castle Playground really is,” said Moria Balseca, the Highview Playground Committee’s Events Committee Chair.

The Foundation raised $500,000 for the Dennis P. McHugh Piermont Public Library over the first several years of the run/walk,  which was 25 percent of the building’s total cost. The library opened in 2006 and also contains a memorial honoring those who were killed during the terrorist attacks.

“When Chloe, Dennis’ oldest daughter was young, he used to bring her to the library, and it was a small library in Piermont at the time, so he used to go to the surrounding libraries in the towns to try to have that experience with the library, and they always wanted one in Piermont, so that was our initial project,” explained Anne Nevin, a cousin of the McHugh family.

Once the library was built the Foundation began supporting other locals charities, including the United Hospice of Rockland last year. This year the money raised at the 50/50 raffles went towards rebuilding the Highview Playground in Nanuet and to support the family of Noah Coughlan, also a Blauvelt resident and member of the Gaelic Athletic Association, of which McHugh was also a member. Coughlan died of cancer earlier this year, and the money raised at the run/walk will help his family deal with the various medical expenses.

The items in the raffle were donated for the event, and they included tickets to see a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman, tickets to a lacrosse camp, a basket of crafts for girls, a basket of candy and other sweets, and a basket of children’s books.

The many kids-related gifts were fitting, since, as Rob Hinchcliffe—McHugh’s brother-in-law and one of the organizers of the event—pointed out, around half of the runners in the 5K were 17 years old or younger.

“We have a lot of nieces and nephews, so we try to instill in them the importance of how Dennis lived his life, and making something so horrific into something that’s positive, and so we’re trying to get as many kids involved as possible,” said Nevin. “[Dennis’s widow] Una is from a large family, and we’re from a large family, so we just get all the nieces and nephews together, and they get their friends, and I think that’s probably why it’s involved into a huge youth race.”

The top three finishers in each age category, male and female, received drinking glasses as their prize, while the top overall winners also got gift certificates to local restaurants.

There were also prizes given out to the top finishers in special categories that were each linked to the McHugh family. These categories were: Iona College Students and Alumni (Dennis McHugh was an alum himself), Teachers (McHugh’s widow Una is a teacher), Gaelic Football Players, Law Enforcement, and Firefighters.

One of the main things that attracted many of the runners to the event on Saturday, besides the good cause, was getting a chance to race around the scenic Hudson River. Maria Schanbacher and her husband Larry came down from Brewster in Putnam County to support their friend Nevin, McHugh’s cousin, and Maria in particular came away amazed by the beauty of the area.

“It’s gorgeous, one of the nicest running courses I’ve ever run,” she said.

After the 5K was finished, children age 10 and under were able to participate in a Pee-Wee run within the park. Children ran with their specific age group, with each age having a different starting line. All the participants received medals along with other prizes like tickets to a local bowling alley.

So for families like Veronica and Patrick Walsh, who attended the event with their four-year-old daughters Alexandria and Aine and their two-year-old son Eamon, the Pee-Wee run was a great way for their children to get exercise while also helping raise money for a good cause.

“It’s healthy to get them out in the air and running and supporting the event and the family,” said Veronica Walsh.

The following is the list of the top three finishers for each gender in each age category in the 5K:

Male winners:


  • Art Gunther, Age 39 from Nyack, NY- 15:15
  • James Kempton, Age 52 from Nanuet, NY- 17:32
  • John MacKenze, Age 30 from Tappan, NY- 17:41

Ages 1-19:

  • Luke Gavigan, Age 14: 18:27
  • Jack Skelly, Age 16 from Blauvelt, NY- 19:48
  • Kyle Smyth, Age 14 from Pearl River NY-19:55

Ages 20-29:

  • Brian Axelrod, Age 21 from Cambridge, MA- 17:47
  • Dan Hogan, Age 26 from Walden, NY- 21:46
  • Michael Moran, Age 23 from Tompkins Cove, NY- 22:33

Ages 30-39:

  • Thomas Noonan, Age 37 from Blauvelt, NY- 17:45
  • Brian Pike, Age 33- 18:00
  • Douglas McEnroe, Age 36 from Stony Point, NY- 18:25

Ages 40-49:

  • Logan Scott, Age 49 from New City, NY- 19:05
  • Evan Bender, Age 46- 20:27
  • Patrick Walsh, Age 48- 20:40

Age 50-59:

  • Stephen Blackburn, Age 51 from Pomona, NY- 20:36
  • Jim Connors, Age 55- 23:23
  • Frank Fallon, Age 52 from New City, NY- 24:11

Age 60-69

  • John Barrett, Age 64 from Woodcliff Lake, NJ- 24:29
  • Larry Schanbacher, Age 66- 24:31
  • John Sullivan, Age 65 from New City, NY- 25:10

Age 70-99

  • Howard Friedman, Age 73- 36:08
  • Jim O’Keefe, Age 70- 40:58
  • Richard Esward, Age 70- 51:06

Female Winners:


  • Erin Jaskot, Age 14 from Blauvelt, NY- 20:28
  • Kim Chalfin, Age 40 from Nanuet, NY- 20:46
  • Deirdre Rizzo, Age 14 from Blauvelt, NY- 21:09

Age 1-19

  • Matilda Muller, Age 16- 22:24
  • Caroline Sullivan, Age 17- 23:06
  • Brigid McKenna, Age 14 from Tappan, NY- 23:22

Age 20-29

  • Shannon Goldrick, Age 23 from Nyack, NY- 23:14
  • Stephanie Devlin, Age 22 from Tompkins Cove, NY- 23:50
  • Jenna Naglieri, Age 23 from Stony Point, NY- 23:50

Age 30-39

  • Salina Nordstrom, Age 35 from Tappan, NY- 21:13
  • Vera Kuipers, Age 31 from New York, NY- 21:40
  • Elizabeth Carr, Age 32 from Hawthorne, NJ- 22:29

Age 40-49

  • Susan Bayat, Age 46- 21:14
  • Jacq Brender, Age 42 from Piermont, NY- 22:55
  • Eileen Carey, Age 46- 23:05

Age 50-59

  • Carleen Hobbs, Age 53 from New City, NY- 24:24
  • Anne Jacobs, Age 57- 25:38
  • Karin Miller, Age 57- 26:22

Age 60-69

  • Patrice Tiffany, Age 60 from Blauvelt, NY- 52:29
  • Rosemarie Lord, Age 65 from Poughquag, NY- 55:02
  • Eileen Boland, Age 63 from Stamford, CT- 57:52

Special Results

Iona Student or Alum:


  • Michael Moran, Age 23 from Tompkins Cove, NY- 22:33
  • John Barrett, Age 64 from Woodcliff Lake, NJ- 24:29
  • John Sullivan, Age 65, from New City, NY- 25:10


  • Jennifer McKeague, Age 40- 23:40
  • Kathryn Hemsley, Age 29 from Yorktown Heights, NY- 32:15
  • Eileen McGoldrick Age 44 from Blauvelt, NY- 32:46

Law Enforcement:


  • Chris Alvarez, Age 45- 22:55
  • Thomas Mahoney, Age 30- 23:37
  • Michael O'Meara, Age 41 from Pearl River, NY- 23:41


  • Jacq Brender, Age 42 from Piermont, NY- 22:55
  • Liz Heneghan, Age 46- 31:48
  • Evangeline Reyes-Past, Age 37 from West Nyack, NY- 33:44

Gaelic Football:


  • Michael Killen, Age 45- 21:50
  • Frankie Tracey, Age 46- 23:13
  • James Donahue, Age 27 from Congers, NY- 23:59


  • Patricia Yorke, Age 43 from Pearl River, NY- 24:41
  • Ann Hunt, Age 49 from Tappan, NY- 29:40
  • Christine Treanor, Age 43- 30:57



  • Art Gunther, Age 39 from Nyack, NY- 15:15
  • Chris Dahlem, Age 27 from Nanuet, NY- 26:40
  • David Masterson, Age 41- 26:42


  • Kim Chalfin, Age 40 from Nanuet, NY- 20:46
  • Elizabeth Carr, Age 32 from Hawthorne, NY- 22:29
  • Sarah Campanella, Age 31 from Orangeburg, NY- 24:54

Firefighter (and their family):


  • Brian Pike, Age 33- 18:00
  • Kieran Frawley, Age 30 from New York City- 21:04
  • Harry Callahan, Age 32- 21:31


  • Rachel Maggiore, Age 14 from Orangeburg, NY- 29:55
    Kate Kelleher, Age 28 from Eastchester, NY- 30:57
Marc Maturo May 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM
are those hand times?
Melissa Siegel May 15, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Marc- No they were timed electronically through Super Race Systems


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