The inaugural John Andrews Memorial Eastern Trail 5K, held in May, raised more than $14,000 to benefit the “Close the Gap” campaign of the Eastern Trail Alliance.

The Eastern Trail is a 65-mile on- and off-road recreational trail from Kittery to South Portland. The campaign has now raised $3.27 million of the $3.8 million needed to fill a 1.6-mile gap in the trail in Scarborough.

Andrews, who died in February at age 79, started the alliance more than 17 years ago and remained active in the effort to expand off-road access to the trail. More than 110 runners took part in the trail race sponsored by O’Reilly’s Cure in Scarborough.

“John was a mentor to me and so many others,” said Patrick O’Reilly, owner of the restaurant and bar at 264 Route 1. “The (trail alliance) is in the middle of its most ambitious fundraising endeavor to date and we want to help carry out John’s goal.”

The project will include construction of bridges over the Nonesuch River near Eastern Road and over railroad tracks near Pleasant Hill Road. When it’s done, hopefully in the coming year, riders, runners and walkers will have access to 16 contiguous, off-road miles from downtown Saco to Bug Light Park in South Portland.

The Eastern Trail is part of a larger effort to establish a 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway from Calais to Key West, Florida.

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