(WATERTOWN, NY) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation has announced the return of the Black River Trail Run raised $4,200 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 11 by Willow Running, an organization based in Baldwinsville that hosts events across the state to raise money for various nonprofit organizations. The event saw more than 200 runners participate and was part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Family Fit Running Series.

“We are thankful once again that our friends at Willow Running put on another fantastic event that not only provided a great running experience for participants but raised an amazing amount of money to help the Volunteer Transportation Center,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, the VTC’s Director of Communications and Foundation Director. “Once again, Race Director Mike Samoraj and his team did a phenomenal job hosting this event.”

A look at the medals received by the participants in this year’s Black River Trail Run, which marked its fourth year benefiting the Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation.

Last year, the Black River Trail Run raised $4,450 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.” Though down slightly from last year’s amount raised, Mr. Papineau said the money raised will still have a great impact for the VTC’s mission.

“Every dollar makes an impact,” he said. “Through this one event, we can provide 8,400 miles of transportation for those in need in our communities. That’s huge.”

The top three finishers of the 5K portion of the event were Wyatte Bogrette of Richville in third place with a time of 21:03; Austin McMahon of Sackets Harbor in second place with a time of 20:17; and Michael Werner of Sackets Harbor in first place with a time of 19:33. The top three finishers of the 10K portion of the event were Andrew Mihill of Leavenworth, Kan., with a time of 46:54; Hugh Hull of Fort Drum in second place with a time of 46:31 and Kevin Abel of Liverpool in first place with a time of 40:43. The top three finishers of the 15K Combo for the event were Austyn Kelly of Penfield in third place with a time of 1:02:35; Nicolas Terramiggi of Oswego in second place with a time of 55:32; and Bryant Farley of Syracuse in first place with a time of 54:26.

Complete 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 Bravo Alpha Delta Apple, Black Horse Construction Group, Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage Elks Lodge 1762, Carthage Savings and Loan, Cesario Family Dental Center, Chimera Integrations, Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, Creg Systems, Gouverneur Savings & Loan Association, Homes Realty of Northern New York, Knowlton Technologies LLC, Northern Credit Union, Rocafleet, Samaritan Medical Center, SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Service Plus Automotive, Sliders Food Mart, Waite Toyota, Watertown Elks Lodge 496, Watertown Internists, and Watertown Savings Bank. Additional support was provided by Garland City Beer Works 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.

The next local event Willow Running will host will be the Summer Solstice 5K on Thursday, June 20, at Market Square Park in Sackets Harbor. More information about that event may be found online at https://bit.ly/Summer-Solstice-5K.

For more information about Willow Running events, 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 2023, volunteer drivers provided 25,314 charitable trips over 855,471 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 329,819 helped those in Jefferson County, 101,766 in Lewis County, and 423,886 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $427,736 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers. That’s why the community’s help is so important.

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, 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.