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Oakdale Fourth of July race canceled due to pending Dowling campus sale

An annual South Shore Fourth of July race in Oakdale has been canceled because of the pending sale of the Dowling College campus.

The ninth annual Oakdale Firecracker 5k was scheduled to pass through the former Vanderbilt estate on the South Shore on Tuesday.

“We’re very disappointed and hope to get back on track next year,” said Ron Beattie, president of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

Until about a week and a half ago, Beattie had been in contact with Princeton Education Center, the high bidder at bankruptcy for the former college campus.

“Things seemed to be going pretty good. Then they stopped calling back,” he said.

Princeton Education Center could not be reached for comment Monday.

Newsday has reported that Princeton Education Center failed to close on a $26.5 million offer for the 25-acre property.

The second-place bidder, NCF Capital, which was identified as the auction’s “backup bidder” in court documents, will buy the campus out of bankruptcy for $26.1 million. An attorney for NCF Capital didn’t return a call Monday for comment.

The Firecracker race is part of Suffolk County’s Veterans Run Series, which includes the Suffolk County Marathon on Oct. 29.

Beattie said all 44 preregistered runners had their money refunded. The race had 545 finishers last year, according to official results.

Beattie said race organizers had committed to donating proceeds to Dowling College students who are also veterans, but had so far been unable to find recipients because of the college’s closing.

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