A Brief History (by Linda Graham, 2017)

“In 1988, the folks in town decided that year marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of our town of Hope. To celebrate this occasion, it was decided we needed a weekend full of fun and frolic.

The third weekend in July seemed to be the last busy for events around the State, so that date was chosen. To have a really fun filled weekend, the town folks went all out with a parade, a raffle, a bake sale, craft booths and many games. In order to finance all these events, each non-profit (of which we had 5) was tasked with some sort of fundraiser.

Since I had recently become interested in 5K runs, at one of our organizational meetings I suggested having a 5k run, and was immediately assigned that task. As treasurer and an ETT in our local EMS, I became the “coordinator” of the race, and the HSEMS took on the financial burden of buying all the supplies needed. We had 55 runners that first year The next year, no one else in town wanted to put a weekend of fun and frolic, but runners from the year before encouraged us to at least continue the 5K race. So the HSEMS did. We did a better job of advertising and there were 110 runners that year. The third year – 1990, others in town noticed the increase in runners and realized the possible fundraising prospects. The Library set up booths for local crafters, Hope Inc applied for a new raffle permit with more prizes, and the BBQ was started.

Over the years our weekend events have evolved along with adding two more non-profit organizations, but the Wagon Trail Race, sponsored by the HSEMS, has continued to take place on that 3rd Sunday in July.”

Linda Graham Memorial Race

It is with a heavy loss that Linda passed away in December 2021 and she leaves behind very big Salomon trail shoes to fill. Her influence on the community of Hope was felt strongly in her selfless contribution to each of the six non-profits here, not to mention the individual people who were touched by her friendship. We recognize that this race wouldn’t exist without Linda and dedicate our continuation to her memory.