Do you know about the RunVermont Hall of Fame? We honor outstanding individuals for their achievements and contributions to running in Vermont with an annual Hall of Fame award. The award is presented to an individual who is; a true ambassador of running by promoting running as a lifelong activity wherever he/she goes, has made significant contributions to the sport through running, volunteerism, sponsorship or organization, in the judgment of the Selection Committee, typifies the true spirit of RunVermont by embracing and perpetuating athletic spirit in the Vermont community.
We accepted nominations for 2013 until February 1st. Each nomination had to include a narrative not to exceed 400 words, including biographical information about the nominee and three references. Nominators provided at least two letters of support detailing any contributions to the running community.
We received seven applications this year; we typically only nominate one person per year into the Hall of Fame, so it was incredibly difficult for the Selection Committee to even narrow it down. We had AMAZING people nominated – each person on the committee chose a different nominee for their attributes. With much debate and discussion (my parents always called it a “discussion” when in reality they were arguing) we did finally agree on one recipient. But we’re not going to tell you who it is. . . Not yet anyway.
The nominees are so great we feel that each person deserves recognition. Please look forward to every Wednesday when we will highlight one these nominiees: Ray Aley III, Scott Carpenter, Joe Connelly, Lynn Grieger RD, CDE, CPT, Suzanne Gruendling, Karen Morris and Zeke Zucker
First up … Mr. Ray Aley III.
Ray has been an exemplary member of the race committee since 1995, a member of the Board of Directors for ten years, and a devoted RunVermont volunteer.
Eighteen years ago, former race director, Andrea Sisino, asked Ray if he would be interested in joining the organization and taking over the problematic pre-race pasta dinner at the Raddison Hotel. This began a long history of involvement with RunVermont and the Vermont City Marathon.
A couple of years later he took on the Finish Line Food as the ‘Food Dude’, in addition to the pasta dinner. At the time, the responsibilities of the finish line food person included securing the actual food donations/purchases from various sponsors and vendors, prepping many of them, and getting them to the finish line, as well as, gathering volunteers and setting up on race day. And like the volunteer of your dreams, when Ray was ready to assume other roles, he first prepared his own successor. And he has provided inspiration, training and support to dozens of RC members since his first engagement with the event.
In 2002 Ray joined the Board of Directors of RunVermont. He acted as interim chair following the transition of Peter Delaney into the position of Executive Director. He has just recently retired from his ten term on the Board.
Ray has encouraged his own kids to not only participate in RunVT events and programs, but he has also shared with them his own values of community service and volunteerism… the Aley kids are long standing volunteers in all RVT events themselves, proving that in the Aley family, the apples didn’t fall far from the tree.
Throughout the years, Ray has helped set up, tear down, hang banners, hump sand bags, run last minute errands…you name it, on race weekend. He has volunteered at YAM Scram most years and helped where needed to set up, direct and disassemble the KBVCM. As a volunteer, Ray is the first one on scene, the last one to leave and always with a smile, a joke and can do attitude. Ray is one of the Exec Dir “go to’s” when the proverbial “stuff” is hitting the fan.
Outside of RV, Ray promotes and routinely promotes and rewards healthy lifestyles among his employees.
With a heart as big as all outdoors, Ray has given countless hours to the KBVCM and its production, all with a sense of humor and even greater sense of competency.