What a way to spend the last morning of 2018 – alongside The State Race – a project that was started by 3 college-aged friends, all with a tremendous passion for traveling and a desire to give back to the community. And give back they did – for an entire year…in 50 states!

In 2018, The State Race made it their mission to not only visit all 50 states in that same year, but to volunteer in each and every one, sharing their stories and experiences along the way. Over the course of the year, “The State Squad” – a group of adventurous and friendly individuals who join in on various “stately” travels – have documented the beauty of our country and more significantly, the beauty of giving back. The State Race has an effect on people: it brings them together. We experienced that firsthand on the morning of December 31st, 2018, right before ringing in a New Year.

The State Race group chose Hurleyville, NY as their last stop of 2018 – well, right before heading into NYC for their New Year’s Eve celebration, that is. (Fun fact: they began their 2018 adventure in New York, and ended it there, too!). The hamlet of Hurleyville is the central location for our healthy community model – a wide-ranging effort to re-imagine what it means to be a fully inclusive and sustainable community. This peaceful, yet energetic town boasts a Main Street that offers various experiences and ways to connect, in addition to plenty of creative outlets and learning opportunities – for all to enjoy.  Needless to say, we were delighted to learn that they were in our neck of the woods, ready to help in any way they could, so we quickly prioritized a volunteer activity for them – and the rest was history!

On the morning of December 31st, we met a group of nine friends from The State Race and began our day at the Hurleyville Market, where we spoke about The Center for Discovery® and the profound work we do here every day. We were also fortunate to have two of our residents – Jeffrey and Kadeidra – join us for that morning’s volunteer activity, and off we went to the community Basketball Courts and Rail Trail ready to tackle all the litter!

We spent the morning litter-plucking with The State Race and learning about where they’ve traveled, what their favorite states were, and all of the amazing volunteer efforts they were a part of. One of the original three, a full-time college student named Hunter said, “Getting to volunteer, to meet people all over the country, and to see how many different ways there are to help is why we do this. The whole message is to get people to volunteer within their own community.”

We didn’t only get to clean up our community that morning, but we also made new friends and felt a sense of overwhelming kindness on the eve of a New Year. To think The State Race has done this in every single state is a testament to the power of human kind and the positive effect it can have on others, through the simple act of giving back and bringing people together.

In the New Year, we wish all of you nothing but kindness, friendship, and the opportunity to give back – whether big or small.

For more information about ways to volunteer or give back, please contact Richard Humleker, Vice President of Development, at