Celebrate Westlake: A Look Back 27 Years

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough and Celebrate Westlake founder Bud Hagy with a supporter and the city’s DARE car in a shot from the first Celebrate Westlake in 1990.

Celebrate Westlake has recorded many memorable moments over the years. In addition to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support community causes, the annual Labor Day weekend event has built a long legacy of remembrances. Here is a look back.

The Beginning

In 1991, the City of Westlake’s Mayor Dennis Clough and Celebrate Westlake’s founding sponsor, University Hospitals St. John Medical Center, agreed to host a five-mile charity run in Westlake, Ohio. Since 1991, Celebrate Westlake has raised over $1.4 million for local charities such as Westlake D.A.R.E., Far West Center, Westlake Dept. of Senior & Community Services, SJMC Community Outreach and Wellness Ministry program, University Hospitals Woman’s Health Center, Westlake Porter Public Library, and more.

Famed American marathoner Bill Rodgers with Bay High great Rich Oldrieve, a Bay High dis-tance running standout from the ‘70’s. This photo is from a mid-90’s Celebrate Westlake.

Race Founder William “Bud” Hagy who has been with the event since its inception says this year’s event will be better than ever. Based on its growing popularity he predicts this year to attract more people.

“We have events for all ages; and if you do not walk or run you can cheer on participants and visit the health and fitness expo,” says Hagy.

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The Health and Fitness Expo, from 8 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., includes local merchants, health screenings and vendors displaying the latest in health and wellness products. In addition, the St. John Medical Center Community Outreach Dept. will be on hand to provide free blood pressure readings, along with additional “healthy” information.

“We are very excited about connecting with all families and local businesses in Westlake and the surrounding communities,” reports Race Director Rick Fagan.

Overseeing the 2017 Celebrate Westlake volunteers, Andrew Mangels, Executive Director of Westlake Porter Library, salutes the many volunteers who make this race a reality.

Finishing up on the Westlake High track in the early days.

“We could not do what we do without the support of our volunteer corps. Their work behind-the-scenes greatly assists in the event’s seamless and smooth events. Many people commit themselves to the event and cause each year,” says Mangels.

​​​Celebrate Westlake extends its sincerest appreciation to the participants, to its volunteers and for the contributions of its generous sponsors. Because of your community activism and continued spirit of giving, you have touched the hearts of many individuals and charities that are in need.

Click to view photos from previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014

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