Because of the limitations from the coronavirus pandemic, long-distance running was one of the few things that Wilton teens Ryan Schriber and Zach Dedrick could do together while still being safe. It’s now become a way for the two boys to raise money for others facing serious need and hardship during the crisis.
Running became a quarantine routine for the two friends, members of Wilton High School‘s Class of 2019 who were both back in Wilton after spring semesters at college were cut short.
They ran regularly and were soon running as much as a half marathons in one session.
“On one of our runs I had the idea to use this fun hobby we started as a result of quarantine to help those who were most adversely affected by the virus,” Dedrick explains.
They have planned a 20-mile run around Wilton on Saturday, May 16, beginning at 10 a.m., and they hope people will donate to a fund they’ve set up on Venmo to benefit Open Door Shelter in Norwalk.
Dedrick’s family has volunteered at Open Door in the past and he knew that the shelter was seeing a surge in people coming in.
The two boys have a history of doing volunteer work in Wilton. In addition to giving time to Open Door, Dedrick and his brothers created and ran a soccer program in Wilton for children with special needs. Schriber volunteered with the Wilton YMCA Friends and Buddies program and has worked as a paraprofessional at the YMCA for the past three years. Both of them also worked for Safe Rides when they were students at WHS.
“We thought that family, friends, and the Wilton community would receive this well and help us in our efforts,” Dedrick says, which has already proven to be true. But they hope to raise as much as possible before their run. Donations can be made to the Venmo account @opendoorfundraiser (donors will see the name ‘Christine Dedrick’ – Zach’s mom – attached to that account).
Residents are also encouraged to join the boys on their run–as long as they practice social distancing and safe mask-wearing.