Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, families took the opportunity to gather together – and the Sinatra family was no different.
However, their choice of venue was unique. Several members of the large family gathered at Bergman Park in Jamestown to attend Chautauqua Striders’ Daniel Feather Memorial 5K. The family has been participating in the event together for 20 years, and this year, four generations were able to participate.
Nancy Sinatra was a part of the group and said she looks forward to the event every year. Nancy said she will be 90 in October and was thrilled to gather at the race with her family.
Each family member donned a specially designed shirt that stated, “Run Nancy Run,” with a picture of Nancy running in a bright orange shirt. Nancy was accompanied by her great-grandson, Leo Andriaccio, who is 11 months old as well as her great-granddaughter, Mia. Other members of the family traveled from as far as Wisconsin, while others who couldn’t make it participated through Facetime.
“I came from Wisconsin to participate in this race and spend time with my family,” said Stef Morrill, Nancy’s daughter. “It was so special to be there as my mom celebrates her 90th year and our family celebrates participation from four generations. We sang and laughed our way through the race, including a little square dancing to ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ on the Hazeltine Hill. My mom is not only our fitness role model but, for me, she is a model of silliness and perseverance. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of it.”
Cathy Sinatra, Nancy’s daughter-in-law, started the tradition years ago when she began participating in the Daniel Feather 5K.
“I ran the very first Dan Feather,” she said. “It originally started at Jefferson School and had a very large police participation and I still have the sweatshirt they gave out. I have done as many as possible since then. It was about 20 years ago that I got the Sinatra Clan to come with me. It has been a wonderful family tradition. The family has continued to grow and this year, we celebrated four generations.”
Nancy’s son, Joe, said the family shirts have been an important focal point of the race.
“We have changed our group t-shirts over the years from ‘S.O.S. – Save our Striders’ to ‘We are family,” he said. “My mom turns 90 years old in October 2022 and she is our fitness role model. She has always said, ‘move it or lose it.’ We all hope to keep that motto for our lifetimes.”
Sinatra family participants and attendees included: Nancy Sinatra, Diane Switzer, Sandy Schifano, Ron Schifano, Mike Schifano, Mia Schifano, John Taylor, Shelly Taylor, Joe Sinatra, Cathy Sinatra (daughter-in-law), Olivia Andriaccio, Justin Andriaccio, Leo Andriaccio, Cindy LaFever, Stef Morrill, Charles Sinatra, Don Switzer, Kelly Sinatra, Cooper Sinatra, Bev Yachetta, and Tim Lafever. Quinn Taylor participated through Facetime.
Daniel W. Feather, the namesake of the memorial run, was a co-founder of Chautauqua Striders. In 1979, he helped found the organization and served as a volunteer coach for several years. Feather’s lifelong interest in running led him to the New York State and International Police Olympics, where he earned numerous gold and silver medals. For several years, he also participated successfully in area triathlons.
Feather received the Chautauqua County Gold Achievement Award for personal fitness and was also selected as one of Jamestown Community College’s 50 Greatest Athletes. He became a Jamestown Police Officer on March 4, 1974, and served as such until his death on May 12, 1992. He was inducted posthumously into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame on February 18, 1993.
Chautauqua Striders provides tutoring, mentoring, outreach, and athletic programs to more than 1,500 Chautauqua County youth annually. Chautauqua Striders aims to help youth graduate high school inspired with the knowledge, skill, and confidence required for successful college and career experiences. For more information on the organization, visit www.chqstriders.org or follow Chautauqua Striders on Facebook.