In Memoriam

Joey Valentinetti and Walt Gillis — always in our hearts!

In remembrance –Joey Valentinetti -1950-2006

The Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger fondly remembers our good friend Joey Valentinetti, a key leader and director of our race, who died suddenly in 2006. Joey was involved in every aspect of our race, creating and managing our website,, leading our registration, and directing our finish line race scoring. He devoted countless hours over more than ten years to help put on an event that has been a continuing success on several levels – as a competitive running event, as a community event attracting hundreds of Croton’s children and their families, and as a fund-raising event to continue Harry Chapin’s mission of fighting world hunger. So we at Run Against Hunger continue to look to Joey’s legacy – a never-stop-working, can-do spirit that truly exemplifies Harry’s drive to end world hunger – for guidance as we stage this race every October.

“Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man’s life could be worth, well, I wonder what would happen to this world.” – from Harry Chapin’s song, “I Wonder What Would Happen to this World.”

– Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger Race Committee

In remembrance –Walter Gillis -1931-2008

Walter Gillis absolutely loved and was inspired by Harry Chapin. Along with his wife Shirley and a few other dedicated folks, he was a lead organizer of the annual Croton-on-Hudson area Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger (from 1982 – 2008) to raise funds for WhyHunger (then World Hunger Year) and local organizations fighting hunger and poverty. Every year at the Run, he would play Harry’s songs, loud and proud, on loudspeakers so runners could hear the music as they passed the finish line (and of course so could the crowd hanging out cheering on the runners). Walt exuded a positive energy and spirit — and great humor — and, like Harry, he could get anybody to do anything. He’d look people right in the eye and say, “We’re helping hungry kids and every dollar you help me to save will be another dollar we can use to feed hungry kids.”

And people responded.