Wapakoneta resident throws first pitch

Wapakoneta resident Amy Kentner threw the ceremonial first pitch Friday prior to the Cleveland Indians’ game against the Chicago White Sox at Progresive Field in Cleveland.

The Indians hosted A Christmas Story House & Museum Night on Friday, featuring trivia and giveaways throughout the game relating to the popular 1983 film, parts of which were filmed in Cleveland.

She was asked to throw out the first pitch Friday — with a huge caveat attached.

“They asked me to wear the Leg Lamp,” Kentner said, referring to the iconic high-heel wearing, leg-shaped lamp featured prominently in the house’s front window during the film. “I’ve been practicing pitching for months wearing that costume trying to prepare for it.”

Kentner, in association with the house’s foundation, founded A Christmas Story 5K/10K Run last year. Funds from the event are given to the Christmas Story House Neighborhood Restoration Project.

The second edition of A Christmas 5K/10K Run will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.

“Last year we brought in $45,000 for the (project),” Kentner said. “It goes fixing a lot of the houses around the ‘Christmas Story’ house that are rundown, need held fixing roofs, yards, etc.”

Kentner said about 50,000 people visit the “A Christmas Story” house every year.

Referencing the neighborhood restoration project, the run’s website states “This non-profit foundation was established to restore and maintain the neighborhood surrounding the A Christmas Story House & Museum for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

The foundation then “provides grants … to projects that enhance and preserve the surrounding neighborhood,” the website states.

The Indians will donate $4 from each discounted ticket sold for Friday’s game, which were obtained using a link from the house foundation’s website.

Kentner said approximately 2,000 people have registered for this year’s event, during which participants are encouraged to dress as characters or memorabilia from the film.

The race route is located in downtown Cleveland. The 5K course ends at A Christmas Story House & Museum, while the 10K course passes by it.

Kentner described how started the event.

“I wanted to start a race — an event, an experience, not a “cookie cutter,” she said. “With no experience, I contacted the foundation in January 2013, and I pitched the idea.”