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Independence Day 5K

Newly dubbed race director enjoying retirement, encourages Kiwanis 5K registration

By Joanne Beck
2019 Kiwanis 5K
2019 File Photo of Batavia Kiwanis Independence Day 5K, by Steve Ognibene.

As commander of the Le Roy Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post, grandpa to two grandchildren, an avid golfer, and Kiwanis Club president and race chairman, Dave Rumsey’s retirement hasn’t exactly been idle.

But leaving his post as commissioner of the Wyoming County Social Services for 17.5 years, followed by commissioner at Genesee County for another five years, has given him plenty of opportunity to “catch up doing things I didn’t have time to do,” he says.

Add to the list his role as race director for Batavia Kiwanis Club's annual Independence Day 5K. He looks forward to increasing participation to at least last year's numbers for the event on July 4. 

"We hope to get at least 117, as of today we're up to 35. They keep going up by about 10," he said to The Batavian Thursday.

The Stafford native and Le Roy High School grad went to serve in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before returning to this area, where he has remained to build his career. 

Carla Mindler filled the vacancy, and faces the same challenges that Rumsey did for those two decades: a shortage of affordable housing, healthcare issues, “they just keep continuing on,” he said.

“Nothing really major, the same stuff, a different day,” he said to The Batavian. “The staff is wonderful, they provide a valuable service to the county.”

Law Day Awards with Det. Jason Ivison, Chief Shawn Heubusch, Kiwanis President Dave Rumsey
2023 File Photo of Batavia Kiwanis President Dave Rumsey, far right, performing his duties, with Batavia City Police Detective Jason Ivison, left, and Chief Shawn Heubusch, by Howard Owens.

Once he was in as president of Batavia Kiwanis Club, serving as race director last year wasn’t that much of a stretch, he said. “It’s a two-fer.”

The club struggled during COVID’s pandemic protocols, offering a virtual 5K in place of its regular in-person race throughout the city on the Fourth of July. That didn’t go so well, he said. But members rallied, and last year they secured 117 participants for the annual  race.

“And we’re off and running,” he said, no pun intended.

People are trickling in to register for this year’s event, with about 35 signed up so far. However, Rumsey and former race director Dave Chua know that’s always par for the race course, they said: runners often wait til the last moments to decide, check out the weather, feel that runner’s energy, and go for it.

Are you ready? A gun start is at 9 a.m. July 4 on Richmond Avenue, at the top of Centennial Park in front of the state School for the Blind. Prizes will go to the top first and second male and female runners, while proceeds are going to worthy causes.

As usual, the proceeds will be divvied into thirds, and this year’s recipients are the Books For Babies program, Batavia City School District’s Foundation, and Kiwanis Club’s various children’s organizations.

The city school Foundation's donation "directly impacts our Batavia Community Schools' Heart of Kindness Center," Community Schools Coordinator Julia Rogers said.

"The Center (formerly Community Closet) is supported through donations to the BCSD Foundation, Inc. The portion of proceeds we receive from the Kiwanis 5K will go towards food items and paper products which we order for our food pantry through FoodLink NY in Rochester," Rogers said.

For the price of $25, you can get some early exercise, a race T-shirt, fresh air, camaraderie, help benefit at least three charities, and then enjoy the rest of the holiday. The 5K is for runners and walkers alike. 

As for Rumsey, he used to be a runner, but his knees have given way to walking at this stage in life, he said.

After the race, he will enjoy some time with family at a lake get-together. As a veteran, he is well aware that the Fourth of July is about “Independence Day.”

“It’s a day that the way we live and how we live is because of what our forefathers did,” he said. “We’re an independent country.”

To register and for more details, go to Kiwanis Independence Day 5K

Kiwanis Club caps this year's 5K with special drawing

By Joanne Beck
Video Sponsor
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Thursday was the day — more than two months after the Kiwanis annual Independence Day 5K — when officials drew the winning ticket for a special prize.

Co-chairman Dave Chua selected Number seven out of the 119 race participants, and challenged them to remember their bib numbers. Not to worry, Chua had the registration list, and the winner was John Schrenker. He will receive a free pair of Saucony running shoes from The Batavia Bootery on Main Street.

The drawing was Thursday afternoon at the Bootery, which donated the pair of sneakers. Bootery manager Kevin Stone, and staff member Autumn Rogers, Co-chairman Dave Ramsey and Chua were present.

The annual event helps to support local nonprofit organizations, and this year’s proceeds went to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park, Batavia City School Foundation for the Community Schools Program, and the Kiwanis activity fund. Kiwanis also hosts other events that benefit the community, including an Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Morning Skate and other activities.

Photo: Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Co-Chairman Dave Rumsey, Autumn Rogers and Kevin Stone of The Batavia Bootery, and Co-Chairman David Chua announce the winning race bib number for a free pair of running shoes Thursday at the Bootery on Main Street, Batavia. Photo by Joanne Beck.

Kiwanis Club to host Independence Day 5K

By Press Release

Press Release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia will be hosting its annual Independence Day 5K on Monday, July 4 at 9 AM at Centennial Park. The club is so excited to bring this event back in person after hosting a virtual event last year.

You can register here

Proceeds from the race will be distributed to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park, Batavia City School Foundation for the Community Schools Program, and lastly the Kiwanis activity fund which supports community events such as our Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Morning Skate and others.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Sixth annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K race

By Steve Ognibene


More than 200 participants walked or ran in the Batavia Kiwanis Club's annual 5K race on Independence Day, a 10-percent increase over last year, said race director David Chua.

It started at the top of Centennial Park on Richmond Avenue and went north by Dwyer Stadium to East Avenue. The runners end just off Washington Avenue at the bottom of the park on Ellicott Avenue. 

Chua said this year’s proceeds were broken into thirds: the organization for autism research; Batavia City Schools District Foundation; and the last third is distributed by the Kiwanis Club to local children’s organizations.

First Place and top male finisher was William Buckenmeyer from Batavia, time 18:25. Top female finisher was Kimberly Mills from Oakfield time 20:50; she finished 11th overall.








Guarino siblings win Independence Day 5K

By Steve Ognibene


This morning the Batavia Kiwanis Club hosted its annual 5K race at Centennial Park in Batavia. More than 150 people participated. More than 30 sponsors locally contributed to the event with signs, food, drinks, T-shirts and prizes for top two finishers in each age group.

Pictured below is Nick Guarino who won the overall race with a time of 16:39 and his sister, Kristen Guarino, who was the first woman to win with a time of 20:26.


Top two finishers in each age group:


19 and under – Zak Jantzi 18:08, John Bruggman 19:43

20-29 – Nick Guarino 16:39, Collin Mulcahy 16:46

30-39 – EJ Boyce 16:54, Dave Bateman 19:43

40-49 – John Kirkwood 19:46, Joseph Ciecierega 20:55

50-59 – Kevin Sheenan 16:02, James Lane 18:29

60-69 – Frank Gioia 17:35, Rich Kutter 19:16


19 and under- Maggie Anderson 24:03, Emily Caccamise 26:40

20-29 – Kristen Guarino 20:26, Amanda James 24:03

30-39 – Ann Ball 21:02, Kristen Smith 23:49

40-49 – Heather Brondolillo 23:59, Nikki  Mikos 26:15

50-59 –Mary Scoins 26:20, Mary Nanni 26:28

60-69 – Janice Spiotta 20:39, Rosemary Cowan 24:04

This is the third 5K as part of the Genesee County Race Series sponsored by the United Way.

The next race is The Oatka on July 15th and remaining races are:

Don Carroll Aug.19th, Jaycees Labor Day Sept 4th, Friends and Family Sept. 16th, Run for the ACORNS on Oct. 1st and YWCA Stiletto and Sneaker on Oct. 5th.

For more photos click here:






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