(WATERTOWN, NY) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation has announced the return of the Black River Trail Run raised $3,500 to help provide transportation services for those in need in the North Country.

The event – a 5K/10K/15K race on the Black River Trail in Jefferson County – was hosted May 14 by Willow Running, an organization based in Baldwinsville that hosts events across the state to raise money for various nonprofit organizations. The event was part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Family Fit Running Series and saw 250 runners participate.

“Willow Running put on another fantastic event here in the North Country and we’re proud to report it raised $3,500 to help the Volunteer Transportation Center help folks right here in our communities,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, the VTC’s Director of Communications and Foundation Director. “Race Director Mike Samoraj and his team did a phenomenal job hosting this event here for the second year in a row.”

Last year, the Black River Trail Run saw approximately 275 runners participate, raising $2,500 to help the support the VTC in its mission to “provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.”

Results for this year’s Black River Trail Run may be found online through the Willow Running website, accessible at https://bit.ly/Black-River-Trail-Run, and clicking on the “Results” tab at the top of the page.

Sponsors for this year’s event included Bfitjunky Studio; Carthage Savings & Loan; Chimera Integrations; Christman Fuel Service; Con-Tech Building Systems; Homes Realty of Northern New York; Northern Credit Union; Samaritan Medical Center; Service Plus Automotive; Watertown Internists; Watertown Savings Bank; Cesario Family Dental Center; Carthage Elks Lodge 1762; Sliders Food Mart; and Watertown Elks Lodge 496. Additional support was provided by Maggie’s on the River and Fairfield by Marriott Watertown Thousand Islands.


Willow Running’s mission is to offer a high quality experience that goes beyond the actual race event. While unique courses, “off the beaten path” locations and runner safety are always a priority, we also offer top notch swag and super fun post-race festivities. It’s that signature blend of run and fun that aims to inspire participants to better health and greater fulfillment.

For more information, visit www.willowrunning.com.


The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties and beyond. Over the last 30 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, food sources and other critical needs destinations for residents.

In 2021, VTC volunteer drivers provided 26,711 charitable trips over 1,073,435 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 470,002 helped those in Jefferson County, 151,954 in Lewis County, and 451,479 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $477,679 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers.

The staff, boards of directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.

For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Jefferson and Lewis Counties at 315-788-0422, in St. Lawrence County at 315-714-2034, in Oswego County at 315-644-6944, or Western New York at 585-250-5030. Volunteers drive their own cars, set their own hours and receive mileage reimbursement but, more importantly, make a difference in the community.

To learn more, visit www.volunteertransportationcenter.org.