Community organizer to press on after Troy fire

TROY, N.Y. – A dozen families in Troy are still reeling after a fire ripped through their apartment buildings, leaving them without a home. The recovery process is underway, and officials are searching for a cause. In all this devastation, a silver lining was found.

A yellow brick building sits on the corner of Washington and 4th Streets in the Collar City. It was built in 1850 and has been a staple in the community for years. It serves as a hub for the neighborhood watch meetings, and is also home to the man, and his dedicated group of workers, who put on two of the biggest events in the Capital Region year after year.

“You gotta take the good with the bad,” George Regan said Saturday.

He organizes the Freihofer’s Run for Women and Troy Turkey Trot each year. He also owns one of the buildings that was heavily damaged by Friday night’s fire. He said the outpouring of support from his neighbors shows the silver lining of such devastation.

“It’s just really gratifying to see how the community pulls together here in Troy to support tragedies like this when these things happen,” he said.

In the basement of Regan’s building sits decades of history packed into boxes; history on the Freihofer’s run for women he didn’t know if he’d see again. “The documents from the start of the event in 1979, historical documents, and up until last year, 2014 are all intact,” he said.

With the 40th Anniversary of the run just three short years away, Regan says the now has a plan for all of those timeless documents. “I’m going to start working on that and putting that retrospect together of the run for women,” he said.

With this year’s run 37 days away, Regan said it’ll be a race to the finish . . . but he couldn’t do it without support from his community.

“We’ve gotten office space donated to us through Brice Realty of downtown Troy and we’re going to be moving these offices to that location and it should be up and running by Wednesday.” Regan added, “I’m very encouraged and I’m going to tell you now, here and now, that the run for women is going to be as good, or better than it’s ever been.”

“A building is a building, but what this building has been used for… To support the community over the years, is the great thing.”

“It’s important for us to renovate, to bring it back to life.” And, he plans to do just that.

Freihofer’s Run for Women:

http://www.freihofersrun.com/womens_5k.htm

 

Donations for the Fire Victim’s:

http://www.gofundme.com/r9hj8y8r

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