The Old First Night Run/Walk/Swim is a timeless tradition that has recently been given an upgrade.
This year was the first time advance registration for the race was made available online. And in an embrace of the many ways social media can connect Chautauquans — regardless of where one is physically located on Aug. 3 — there will be a new dimension to the Run/Walk/Swim: an Around the World Race.
Those who register for the Around the World Race will be able to participate in the race remotely and share their experience, photos and videos on Chautauqua Institution’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
It is DFT Communications, Partners in Technology which has generously sponsored the Around the World Race, expanding the OFN tradition to the virtual world.
Ellen Ditonto, director of sales and business development at DFT Communications, said the company “is thrilled to be a sponsor for the first ‘virtual’ Old First Night race on Aug. 3.”
“What better way for us to showcase our technology solutions company to the Chautauqua Institution community than to help bring together runners from all over the world who want to be part of the Old First Night tradition?” Ditonto said. “We know that Chautauquans can be found worldwide, and with technology, barriers like time and distance can be dissolved so that the community can experience greater camaraderie. We felt it was a perfect match for DFT Communications to expand our partnership with Chautauqua.”
Of course, in keeping with an already well-established partnership with the Institution, ERA Team VP, formerly Vacation Properties Group, will continue to sponsor the traditional OFN race taking place on the grounds.
Bill Soffel, owner and broker of ERA Team VP, is excited for the company to continue its commitment to Chautauqua.
“While our company has grown throughout Chautauqua County and beyond, we started in Chautauqua,” Soffel said, “and supporting the Institution is still a major and important part of our business. We continue to be very involved with real estate sales, vacation rentals and property management on the grounds. We think it’s important to give back to Chautauqua and to support everything that the Institution stands for.”
The OFN Run/Walk/Swim is a tradition ERA Team VP would like to continue to support.
“We’ve enjoyed a nice partnership with Chautauqua over the years, and we look forward to continuing our great relationship into the future,” Soffel said.