If you can catch Dan Herrera, you will more than likely find out what all the fuss is about on Saturday evening in downtown Geneva. Since most of us can’t run a 4:49 mile, yours truly included, I asked Dan if he would sit down with me for a few minutes and give me the scoop.
What exactly is this “?
I have had the privilege of knowing and for almost seven years, and if you are not already aware, this young man is a first-class gentleman. Dan will be a junior at Geneva High School this fall; he has lived in Geneva his entire life and is a Harrison Street School alum. Dan is one of six children, and because of some great parenting skills on the part of mom, Lisa, and dad, Bob, this young man knows the value of hard work and dedication. It’s no wonder such a great idea would come from a great kid!
Back to the question: “What is Run for the Flags”? Run for the Flags is Dan’s Eagle Scout project.
Since joining Cub Scouts in second grade, Dan has worked his way up rank and file to Life Scout, next stop Eagle. A graduate of Pack 111—Geneva, and a current member of Troop 37—Geneva, Dan has been very active in his scouting career. To date, Dan has held many leadership positions in Troop 37, including patrol leader, chaplain aide and den chief.
To earn the Eagle Scout rank, which is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting, a Scout must progress through five rank advancements; tenderfoot, second class, first class, star and life. He must earn 21 merit badges, of which 12 are Eagle required. He must serve for six months in a troop leadership position and plan, develop and lead a service project for a religious organization, school or community. Upon completion of this project, the Scout will have a Scoutmaster conference and complete his final Board of Review.
The purpose of Dan’s Eagle Project is twofold, to properly educate the citizens of Geneva on flag etiquette and to purchase new flags for the city of Geneva.
Run for the Flags is a 5K (3.1 mile) race and community service project developed and led by Dan. While educating Geneva community members on flag etiquette, the primary goal of the project is to raise money through race fees in order to purchase new American flags which will be donated to the city of Geneva.
Why flags and why running? What gave Dan this great idea? On a training run one day, Dan was running across the State Street Bridge in Geneva. Much to his dismay, Dan spotted several tattered and dirty flags. Right then, Dan knew these flags were unfit for display.
Progressing further into his run, Dan skidded to a halt, horrified at the sight of an American flag wrapped around its pole and stuffed in a trash can. Dan snatched the flag out of the trash and carried it for two more miles until his run was complete. Dan contacted his Scoutmaster, Steve Price, and arranged to have the flag retired properly at a troop campout that night.
Running is Dan’s passion, and much to my surprise, Dan is really a pretty fresh runner. With a 4:49 mile time, I just guessed he had been running his whole life!
He started his running career three short years ago on the eighth-grade track and field team. After a bike ride with Troop 37 to Niagara Falls (yes, you read it right, the High Adventurers of the troop biked all the way to Niagara Falls in the summer of 2009) Dan decided to continue his cardio activity by joining the Geneva High School .
Downtown merchantstepped up to the plate to sponsor the 5K, and Eric Ott from offered his knowledge and agreed to be the regional manager of services. Along with the help of his parents, Bob and Lisa, Dan has received assistance and guidance from Liz Fahey, manager of Geneva Jake’s, Ellen Divita and Paul Evans of the city of Geneva Economic Development Department and Cmdr. Eric M Passarelli of the Geneva Police Department.
After hours and hours of planning, obtaining clearance through various government organizations, course walking, goodie bag stuffing and countless phone calls and emails, Dan is ready to run. Well, at least Dan is ready to watch close to 250 people run.
Saturday registration begins at 6:30 p.m. behind Geneva Jake’s, 407 S. Third St. The 3.1-mile race is start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Runners will head out from the , cross the foot bridge and turn right, running toward Batavia. After the turn around in Fabyan Forrest Preserve, runners will head back to the Government Center, cross the finish line and join the post race festivities back a Geneva Jake’s.
Just $25 buys your race fee, a fantastic goodie bag, a Geneva Jake’s T-shirt and a ticket in the after race raffle. I have been in contact with Lisa over the last few days, and trust me, these raffle prizes are killer. Even if you are not a runner, the $25 is worth the donation to enter the raffle.
Registration for the race is still open, visit www.runfortheflags.com or sign up at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.
Hope to see you all on the course!