Rotary honors Dr. Mark Cucuzzella
The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has presented its 2015 Vocational Service Award to Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, of Shepherdstown, co-founder of the annual Freedom’s Run running event.
The presentation was made at the Club’s Oct. 20 weekly breakfast meeting at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown.
Dr. Cucuzzella is shown on the right in the accompanying photo, accepting the award from Rotarian Lois Turco, who founded Freedom’s Run with him.
The award is given each fall to an outstanding community member who embodies values and principles that exemplify Rotary values, especially service above self and a commitment to high ethical standards.
In her remarks, Ms. Turco stressed that Dr. Cucuzzella is a “worthy recipient because he has extended his passion for running to volunteer and community efforts in the best spirit of service above self.”
Dr. Cucuzzella is a family practice physician on the faculty of the WVU School of Medicine, Eastern Division. He serves as a hospitalist at Jefferson Medical Center and teaches medical students at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at WVU’s Berkeley Medical Center campus.
He is also the founder and owner of the Two Rivers Treads store in Shepherdstown, a specialty shoe store focused on educating runners on form and the benefits of minimalist shoe construction.
An avid runner, he is the past winner of the Air Force Marathon. As an Air Force Reserve officer he serves the Air Force running team as a consultant and tours the United States Air Force bases with running clinics. Locally, he is very active in promoting running programs for children, including programs for the Boy Scouts and local schools.
He and Turco founded the Freedom’s Run in 2009. Held every fall in Jefferson County, it has grown to be a premier running event that attracts thousands of runners from across the country. It has also raised more than $120,000 for charitable causes serving the Eastern Panhandle.
Dr. Cucuzzella was also recognized this year by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, which named him as their Distinguished Citizen of the Year in June.