On July 28, 162 runners and walkers laced up for the fifth annual Darren Manzella-Lapeira Memorial Run in Brocton.
A United States Army veteran, Manzella-Laperia served as a medic for two tours of duty overseas during the Iraq War. Upon completing his service, he joined the Army Reserves and was serving as a Staff Seargeant in the Army National Guard when he was tragically killed in an automobile accident in August 2013.
Always willing to help another in need, Manzella-Lapeira was working at the Canandaigua Veterans Crisis Call Center as a counselor at the time of his death. He listened to each veteran in need and offered a compassionate ear, understanding and guidance.
Due to his selfless nature, his family decided to create The Darren Manzella-Lapeira Veterans Assistance Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to support local veterans in need through the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency. The Agency also offers trained counselors who provide services in crisis situations.
In 2018, the race raised $14,000, $9,000 of which was presented to the Community Foundation for the fund. Other proceeds benefitted a scholarship fund established at Brocton Central School for veterans’ descendants, and other local veteran service organizations.