March 22, 2021 (BETHLEHEM, PA) – Via announced today that the 2021 St. Luke’s Via Marathon will not take place this fall due to the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of safely holding a large event that takes more than a year of planning and significant resources to execute.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to take make difficult decisions important in allowing us to continue to fulfill our mission of helping people with developmental and intellectual disabilities reach their full potential within new financial and safety constraints,” said Lisa Walkiewicz, President and CEO of Via of the Lehigh Valley.
“Over the last 12 months, we have worked diligently to ensure that the essential services Via provides for individuals with disabilities and their families remain in place. It is vital that Via concentrates on its core mission and focus on continuing to support the most vulnerable members of our community.”
“The planning for the St. Luke’s Via Marathon is a year-long endeavor. With the uncertainty of the past year, we simply could not dedicate our limited resources to planning an event that could be canceled by factors outside of our control at any time. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to hold the St. Luke’s Via Marathon this year.”
“We understand why the St. Luke’s Via Marathon cannot take place this year,” said Ken Szydlow, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of St. Luke’s University Health Network. “We are proud to partner with Via of the Lehigh Valley to ensure that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities live fulfilling lives as vital members of our community. We will continue to support this mission and hope other sponsors of the Marathon join us.”
“We are so thankful to all of our community partners who have stepped up to directly fund our services during this crisis,” Walkiewicz said. “This financial support has helped us weather this storm and we know we will come out of this stronger.”
Participants who have deferred from 2020 to 2021 will have the option to convert their registration fee to a 100% tax-deductible donation to Via of the Lehigh Valley or request a refund. Runners who have deferred to 2021 or signed up for the Double Half Challenge will receive an email with further information.
About Via of the Lehigh Valley
Serving our community since 1952, Via helps people reach their full potential. Via provides services to 1,250 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe, Bucks and Berks counties. These services include vocational exploration, community employment, educational activities, volunteer and recreational opportunities for teens and adults, and early intervention therapies and inclusive education for young children. Visit www.ViaNet.org to learn more about Via’s services and how you can help.