Mineola Resident to Take Part in Upcoming Heartbreak Hill Half-Marathon to Raise Funds for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck
Liz Holzknecht Surpasses Fundraising Goal of $1,000; Sister Attended Camp For Eight Years Before Passing in 2013
(Center Moriches, NY) — On June 8, Liz Holzknecht will take part in the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon in Boston to raise funds and awareness for Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck. Ms. Holzknecht, a Mineola resident, will be running in her third half-marathon, since she took up running last year as part of a New Year’s Resolution.
She will run in honor of her late sister, Kate, who attended the camp. Kate’s 24th birthday would have been on June 9 — the day after the race. Kate suffered from many disabilities, including not being able to verbalize with others. Despite her disabilities, Kate always managed to show her love for the camp and its staff. “She would come home exhausted, but you knew she had a good time and enjoyed herself. Few people actually understood Kate; however, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck’s staff and volunteers were some of the people that did,” said Ms. Holzknecht.
After trying out many special-needs programs for Kate, her parents were determined to find a place for their daughter to engage with others and feel content. Ms. Holzknecht’s parents learned about Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck through Kate’s neurologist, with whom they spent a lot of time over the years. The doctor recommended the camp because its programs would help provide Kate with the type of interactive activities that she longed for. For eight years, she attended the camp’s respite weekends and summer sessions.
When Kate passed away last September, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck had a memorial ceremony by releasing balloons in her memory. In addition, the Moriches Paquatuck Squaws hosted its first-ever Spring Fling Joy Prom at the camp will be in remembrance of Kate. “Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck helped my sister tremendously — I can’t thank them enough. That’s why this race will be fully dedicated to the camp and my sister,” says Ms. Holzknecht.
“We are thrilled that Liz has decided to help us raise funds and awareness for the camp through her participation in the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon,” says Bridget Costello, Executive Director, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck. “Kate was a camper who was very dear to our hearts and we miss her every single day.”
Ms. Holzknecht has also established a website where the public can donate to the camp in Kate’s name. She surpassed her fundraising goal of $1,000. Donations are still being accepted at www.crowdrise.com/runningforkate.
For more information, please call (631) 878-1070 or visit www.camppaquatuck.com.
Liz Holzknecht (left) and her sister Kate (right).
* Photo is attached and available upon request.
Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck was created by members of the Moriches Rotary Club in 1946. Located on the shores of Kaler's Pond on eastern Long Island, Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck is funded entirely by donations and is a special place where children and young adults with physical and developmental disabilities can experience first hand the pleasures that an active life has to offer. They participate in a wide range of activities especially designed for those who are in wheelchairs as well as those who are ambulatory. These activities include swimming, boating, arts and crafts, petting zoo, talent shows, cook-outs, games and a Carnival Day. The program also provides educational activities in areas such as nature, arts, fire safety and communication skills.