Carroll County Times

Cross country run for a good cause with Tree of Friends

On Nov. 16, area runners are invited to the Dell County Mile fundraising race at Dell Brothers Grain in Westminster, with racing fees going to support a local woman's battle with cancer.
The Dell County Mile will consist of two trail runs across the Dell Brothers Grain farm property, a one mile walk/fun run and a timed 5K race, according to Jessie Boog, co-director of the Manchester-based Tree of Friends Foundation, which is organizing the race.
The one mile race will begin at 10 a.m. and the 5K at 10:45 a.m., according to Boog, and both races are open to participants of all ages.
The race was conceived by Lindsay and Doug Dell when they heard that a local woman named Gina Barnes had learned her colon cancer had returned this August, despite having been declared free of the disease in March, according to Kerry Myers, a friend of Barnes and a member of the Tree of Friends Foundation.
"[Gina] has three kids and she and her husband are very involved in the community," Myers said. "There have been small fundraisers to help them, but Lindsay Dell came up with this bigger idea but thought she would need help, so she came to the Tree of Friends."
According to Dell, after she learned that the Barnes family had health insurance, but that it would not cover all of Gina's new cancer treatments, she decided she had to find a way to help.
Remarkably, Dell said she was not even friends with the Barnes family, but knew of them because both families have children in school together.
"We've been in a situation where it means a lot when people are there for you, even if you don't know them," Dell said. "People that show up with a meal or in any way just to help you, it can make all the difference in your life."
The Barnes family declined to be interviewed for this story, according to Dell.
According to Boog, it was situations like the Barnes's that drove the formation of the Tree of Friends Foundation.
"The Tree of Friends Foundation was set up a few years ago," Boog said. "It responds to different community events or families that have been hit by an unforeseen event or tragedy. We step in and try to raise immediate funds and or awareness. This is our third race. We have done two Mohawk miles in the past, one at Christmas Tree Park [in Manchester] and one at the [Deer Park Field in Westminster]."
The Dell County Mile will be held at Dell Brothers Grain, 903 Sullivan Road, Westminster and race packet pickup will be at the same location from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Nov. 15.
Advanced registration for the race is $20 per person for the one mile, while the 5K race will be $30, both available through Nov. 15 online at
Race day registration will be available by cash or check and will be $30 per person for the one mile race and $40 per person for the 5K.
According to Boog, the foundation had already collected just shy of $6,000 by the first week of November, with about $2,000 coming from more than 100 race registrations and approximately $4,000 coming from 55 community business sponsors, though she cautioned that the foundation will still have to cover the as yet unquantified expenses of the race.
"My goal for this was to be able to donate $5,000 to [the Barnes family] and I am sure we will be able to surpass that," Boog said.
Dell said she is also confident that the foundation will meet its fundraising goal with the race and that the response from the Carroll County community has been amazing.
"We just feel so good that we can turn around and help [Gina's] family. She is an amazing person and everybody that hears her name, they immediately want to just step up and help," Dell said.