The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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October 8, 2012

Memorial Day 500 founders desperately seek successors

MERCER — Much like Uncle Sam, Mark and Linda Brown want you.

The Browns, who’ve organized the annual Mercer Memorial Day 500 in its inception in 2003, intend to officially retire from their patriotic posts, effective next week.

But they’d like to see the “500,” as they affectionately call the event that has grown to become one of the largest Memorial Day observances in the region, continue.

People have volunteered to help, but as of yet no one has stepped forward to assume the positions of organizer and advertising chief of the 2013 edition of the 500 if there is to be one.

Those positions needs to be filled by the end of the month if there is to be a celebration next year, the Browns said.

“It won’t be taxing on who ever (does them),” Linda Brown said.

They estimate the both posts will take about two days’ worth of work each month for about six months.

“Everything (that needs to be done) is written down in an extensive, well-organized directory,” Linda Brown said.

They just need someone to take the jobs.

There is no pay and no benefits aside from “satisfaction,” Mark Brown joked, but all kidding aside both emphasized there won’t be an event if someone doesn’t step up soon.

In order to nominate and select veterans to honor each year the process must start Nov. 1, the Browns said.

After 10 years, “it’s time” for someone else to take over, they said.

“Truly it needs to be nourished in the direction,” Linda Brown said. “If we were in the armed services we would have re-upped four times (by now).”

“Several people expressed to us ‘We can’t let this die,’ ” Linda Brown said.

But no one’s volunteered to take over.

To volunteer, call Mark Brown at 724-301-7640.

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