For Immediate Release

11 April 2015

Media Contact Information:
(not for publication)

Keith Peters, Media Coordinator
307-690-6803 or kpeters@cherryblossom.org

Website: www.cherryblossom.org


Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run Announces First Recipient Of Les Kinion Outstanding Service Award; Irv Newman Recognized For His Boundless Dedication To The Runner's Rite Of Spring

Award Honors Memory of Les Kinion, Who Passed Away Last July

Irv Newman

April 11, 2015, Washington, DC: Guests at the annual pre-race dinner of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run are always full of anticipation. Invited athletes are eager to test themselves on the fast 10-mile course; race committee members have myriad last minute details running through their minds, and credit union dignitaries are excited to share the news of their fundraising success. Suspense was added to the mix this year, as everyone in attendance looked forward to the announcement of the first ever recipient of the Les Kinion Award - an award established to ensure the memory of Kinion's outstanding service to the running world in general, and the Cherry Blossom Run specifically.

"Les Kinion was very much at the heart and soul of the Cherry Blossom race committee for over 20 years," said Race Director Phil Stewart. "He coordinated the screen printing of the t-shirts, packaged and delivered over 150 separate packets for committee members and others, and worked all race weekend long - always with a smile and effusive spirit that rejuvenated even the most tired among us. There wasn't a single thing that Les wouldn't do to help out the race. This is why it seems so fitting to name our first ever outstanding service award in his honor."Les Kinion

As Stewart paused to build a little excitement, many in attendance were sure they knew who the recipient would be. Over the past 15 years, no other volunteer has given as much time, wisdom and energy to Cherry Blossom as Irv Newman.

"There is no more fitting recipient of the first Les Kinion Outstanding Service Award than my friend and tireless race committee member, Irv Newman," stated Stewart when he continued with his remarks. "Irv joined the committee in 2000 as treasurer, and added the duties of Deputy Race Director in 2006. His work as Treasurer included maintaining all of the books of what has grown to be a million dollar non-profit organization. As Deputy Race Director, Irv was at my side and acted as my confidante for every significant policy decision I made for well over a decade. As event director, I have always had absolute confidence that any event-related task Irv took on would be done on time, with impeccable excellence."

Even after stepping down as treasurer at 80-years-of-age, Newman, a long-time resident of Silver Spring, MD, has continued to work on the race as a close advisor and as coordinator of all race signage. The distinctive and consistent look of every banner and informational sign is the product of Irv's attention to detail.

By trade, Les Kinion was a Baltimore fire fighter with Engine Company 43. By passion, he was first a runner and then a running club officer and race director. In 1970, Les co-founded the Baltimore Road Runners Club, one of the earliest chapters of the Road Runners Club of America. In 1973 he helped launch the first Maryland Marathon. After retiring in 1986, Les moved to Bishopville, MD and worked on hundreds of races on the Maryland-Delaware Coast. He became involved with the Cherry Blossom Run over 20 years ago, and was active until he passed away last July at the age of 78. His three daughters Cheryl, Kathy and Dina assisted with the presentation.

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the 10-mile course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children's hospitals across the United States. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC's own Children's National Medical Center ("Children's Hospital"). The event also funds two $5,000 Road Runners Club of America "Roads Scholar" grants designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk. PSCU is the lead financial partner of Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Supporting sponsors include New Balance, Gatorade, Gold's Gym, Navy Federal Credit Union, Larabar, BAE Systems, E-Trade, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, MarathonFoto, 201 Bar and Potomac River Running.

The event is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (www.PRRO.org), a five-race non-marathon prize money circuit with events in Utica, NY; San Juan, PR; Washington, DC; Spokane, WA and Atlanta, GA. The circuit is committed to a drug-free sport and engages USADA to conduct drug testing at all circuit events.

In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has earned Silver certification from the Council For Responsible Sport for its many environmentally and socially responsible initiatives.

About America's Credit Unions:

Credit unions provide consumers choices for financial services such as checking accounts, investments and loans of all kinds including mortgages. Funds are federally insured, but unlike banks, there are no stockholders at credit unions. Earnings are returned to member-owners in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, low or no-fee products and services. The credit union philosophy of placing members' needs first is why 100 million credit union members do their banking at one of America's 6,800 credit unions. Credit unions are for everyone - no matter where you live, there is a credit union to meet your needs.

To find a credit union near you visit:

www.asmarterchoice.org or www.culookup.com

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