ADAMS, Mass. — Like most Americans, Bryana Malloy watched with shock last month as more than 100 people died in a series of wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Unlike most of us, she decided to do something about it.
Malloy, the coach of the McCann Technical School cross country teams, and her student-athletes put their empathy into action by organizing a fundraising 5-kilometer race to benefit victims of the fire.
The teams' Walk/Run for Maui kicks off with the 5K race at 8:30 Saturday morning at Whitney's Farm on Ingalls Road in Cheshire.
For Malloy, the cause is personal. She and her husband lived on Maui for four years before returning to the Berkshires.
"I lived there between 2017 and 2020," the 2011 McCann graduate said after coaching her teams in a dual meet on Tuesday at the Greylock Glen. "We moved back here in 2021."
Watching the tragedy unfold from half a world away was a lot to handle.
"Just devastation," she said. "It's just horrible because it was my community. Knowing so many people who lived there and friends and family who lived in Lahaina, their homes burned down. I had to wonder if they were OK."
Fortunately for Malloy's circle, no one she knows personally died in the fires. But she still feels a connection to the island
"It's such a special place — Lahaina especially, so historic," Malloy said. "And all of Hawaii, there's such a unique culture. And it's just kind of devastating for that to happen for so many people.
"Being so far away, I wished I could do something to help. I had so many friends and family and old colleagues that had been affected."
Her runners were looking to do a fundraiser, and fire relief was a natural fit.
For a registration fee of $20 ($25 on Saturday), participants can compete in the 5K trail run or the 1 mile stroller-friendly walk with all proceeds benefiting victims of the Lahaina fire.
Children under 10 can run or walk for free. Registration through the Berkshire Running Center website will have an additional $3 processing fee.
Malloy expressed gratitude to the people at Whitney's for hosting the event.
"Erica Whitney is just very generous," she said. "A farm store is, in a sense, very supportive of a community, supplying food and what not. They're very generous in allowing us to hold the event there."
In addition to the main event, the run/walk, the fund-raiser will benefit the McCann Tech cross country teams through a bake sale, raffle and the sale of "Spread Aloha" race T-shirts ($20).
While Northern Berkshire County is a long way from the Hawaiian Islands, Saturday's event has had a global reach.
"Within an hour of iBerkshires posting something about the race for us, somebody from Alaska reached out to me, and she said that she was searching for charity runs for the Maui wildfires, and our fund-raiser came up," Malloy said. "She said she wanted to participate, and that she would virtually run with us and order a T-shirt as well."
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Saboteurs Earn Narrow Win in Northern Berkshire Fall Hoop League
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Jake Hall had a double-double to lead the Saboteurs to a one-point win in the Northern Berkshire Sports Academy fall league B Division on Sunday.
Hall scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a 66-65 win over Adelson and Company at the Armory.
Dave Crtielli scored 13 points, and Sam Larabee finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
For Adelson, Jon Gregory scored a game-high 29 points and collected 12 rebounds. Nick Lewis scored 12 points.
Workaholics 60, Elegant Stiches 40
Amont David scored 16 points, and Darian Vidal finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Dave Vidal scored 12 for Workaholics.
Shamar Ringgold led Elegang Stiches with a game-high 23 points.
Ioka Valley/Original Seed Cigar 65, Northern Berkshire Sports Academy 59