BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The 17th annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk generated $13,000, as 400 runners and walkers took to the township streets on Sunday, September 22, 2013.
“For the first time in 17 years it rained the night before and into the early morning hours, forcing us to go with Plan B and setup inside the Berkeley Heights Community Center on Park Ave and causing our Red Cross Blood Drive into the art rooms. It was tight but everyone pitched in. We proved that a major event can be run out of the community center. The sun came out just before race time and we had another wonderful community event," said Race Director, Dr. Patrick Smith of Smith Chiropractic in Berkeley Heights. “My only regret was that due to the standing water on Memorial Field, we had to cancel the free children’s fun runs. I was sad not to see all the kids with their smiling faces dashing across the field”.
19 local non-profit organizations will share the money raised at the event thru grants from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, host of the Berkeley Heights 5K. “This year’s donations will bring our 17 year total to $142,600.00, which are given on behalf of all those (runners, walkers, patrons, and volunteers) who make our charity event possible. We feel very positive that our event continues to be an annual, small-town road race and fitness walk that embraces family fun and friendly competition. As a result, we are able to fulfill our goal of community support through continued donations to local organizations and individuals in need,” said Dr. Smith. “The organizations we support directly improve the lives of our neighbors. The notion of neighbors helping neighbors is really what the Berkeley Heights 5K is all about. When I started this event 17 years ago, my dream was to create an annual small town road race, which local residents would enjoy, and together we could raise a few dollars to give back to our wonderful community. With this year’s donations, my dream has again been realized and we exceeded what I thought was possible,” said Dr. Smith.
Dr. Smith was quick to point out, “Without the generous support of our corporate and local business patrons and the dedication of our volunteers, our charity event would not be possible, which is another example of how great this community is -- good people willing to give both time and money to help one another. For me, the real heros of this year’s event are again our sponsors, both the local business community and our larger corporate friends stepped forward to help make this event another success”.
Athletes were pampered by local professional massage therapists Michael Jagiello and Justin Mallett with free pre- and post-race sports massages compliments of Smith Chiropractic said Dr. Smith, in addition free blood pressure screenings were performed by sponsors Walgreens and E Medical Offices, a DJ entertained the crowd with music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed munching on fresh bagels and oranges, bottled water and sports drinks were enjoyed by all, as were healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies provided by Mad Nutrition with protein sport shakes provided by Xymogen Nutrition. Post-Race drawings were plentiful as the John Hawk Agency, an Allstate insurance and financial services firm in Chatham together with Smith Chiropractic donated an iPad mini. Weichert Realtors Watchung gave several substantial prizes with lots of other sponsors at tables providing many more free offers. Runner and Walkers moved under a spectacular red, white and blue balloon towers donated by Taylor Rental in Berkeley Heights, and all participants received a reusable eco tote goodie bag filled with a custom race tee and lots of free items and offers from our sponsors.
Again this year, the Berkeley Heights 5K/Red Cross Community Blood Drive took place during and after the race with over 30 individuals donating life saving blood. As thanks to all participants in this community event, the Berkeley Heights 5K held a special drawing for an iPad which was won by Douglas Birbower from Berkeley Heights. The BH5K/Red Cross community blood drive will again take place at the Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk being held Sunday, September 14.
Representatives from the Wounded Warrior Project were on site to give out information about the organizations important work. The Wounded Warrior Project is a growing grass roots program assisting servicemen and women who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. To learn more about this organization and to help visit the Wounded Warrior website, http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org."
This year’s top three male and female finishers received custom Lucite race plagues. Receiving the top hardware was men’s champion Dean Debonis from Scotch Plains with a time of 19:16, Kent Edens from Glen Rock finished second with a time of 19:32 and William Tiburcio took third place with a time of 20:06. On the women’s side, Jessica Braun from Bridgewater in a time of 20:15 placed first, Kimberly Hahn from Flemington finished second with a time of 21:59, and Meredith Forman from Gillette grabbed third place with a time of 22:41.
Additionally, 76 age group custom Lucite trophies were handed out to male and female winners in age groups ranging from 10 and under to 80 and over.
Dr. Smith reflected, “Each year it is very uplifting to see the triumph of human spirit displayed at the Berkeley Heights 5K. Ava Hemann, age 6, was the youngest finisher, and Melva Murray, age 81, was the oldest to finish the main event.” Dr. Smith went on, “I never know what kind of good things are going to happen each year, I just know they will. I am honored that our event touches so many people’s lives in so many positive ways. For example, this year we provided a grant to Hope on the Horizon an expedition for ALS. They completed their amazing hike of the 48 high peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and made a documentary which is playing nation-wide to help raise awareness for ALS.”
Dr. Smith added, “This year’s patron support was again overwhelmingly generous. Without the following local business and corporate leaders, during a tough economic time, our charity event and all the good it does, would not be possible and I encourage everyone to support the businesses who support us.”
Berkeley Aquatic Club
Allstate, The John Hawk Agency
Applebee’s, “It’s a whole new neighborhood”
Bassett Associates Summit
DERCO copying, printing, & supplies
E Medical Offices
Law Office of David C. Bendush
Massage Envy Spa
Samuel G. Smith Jr. Memorial Fund
Sneaker Factory running centers
Suburban Chamber of Commerce
Overlook Medical Center
Weichert Realtors Watchung offices
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine- Xi Ren Zhou, OMD
Basking Ridge Country Club
Bleakly, Dwyer, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney
Cartridge World, New Providence
CET Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Davies & Associates Insurance Management
Family Foot Care – Gary L. Quartello, DPM
GABRIELE Fitness & Performance
Gary S. Crystal, DMD, Berkeley Heights
Glassworks of Summit
Goodman’s Restaurant & Deli
Hilltop Community Bank
John P. Sullivan CPA CFP
MARY’S Your Name Here
Paras & Paras, Summit
Philip E. Memoli DMD—The Center for Natural Dentistry
Puro Clean Restoration Services
The Tee Bag Screen-printing & Custom Embroidery
Dr. Smith gives special thanks to the dedicated volunteers, the staff of Smith Chiropractic, the Berkeley Heights Police Department, the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department and Director Tom Barton, the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, the Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, Sharon Brady for web design and IT support, Sue Cunningham for logo design, and Kevin Dunwell Photography for all event photos.
Complete race results including nearly 300 professional HD photos which can be downloaded for Free, are available at www.BerkeleyHeights5K.com. Please log on to learn more about the Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race & Fitness Walk.
Registration for the 2014 Berkeley Heights 5K, scheduled for Sunday, September 14, is now open. For information, go to www.berkeleyheights5k.com. Race Director, Dr. Patrick R. Smith can be reached at either his practice, Smith Chiropractic located at 134 Snyder Avenue, Berkeley Heights, by calling 908-464-8899, or online at
Many Benefit from the 2013 BH5K
Receiving grants from the proceeds of the 17th Annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk will be the following including local community-based, non-profit organizations:
1. Berkeley Heights Education Foundation – provides school enrichment programs
2. Hope on the Horizon: An Expedition for ALS-- raising awareness for ALS w/ hike and documentary
3. Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League – youth sports program
4. Summit-Area Baby Center – provides support for local infants in need
5. Summit Speech School, New Providence – helps hearing impaired preschoolers
6. Our House Inc. Berkeley Heights Group Home – assists developmentally-disabled adults
7. Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad & Berkeley Heights Fire Department
8. Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission
9. Family Promise of Summit—helps families in need thru interfaith hospitality networks
10. Santa Claus Shop, Summit – Keeps the spirit of giving alive for over 600 local families in need
11. Berkeley Heights Public Library Foundation—providing much needed library resources
12. The Wounded Warrior Project—Grassroots organization providing comfort to injured servicemen and women returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, www.woundedwarriorproject.org
13. VFW post 6259 Berkeley Heights—provides resources for local vets & aids those @ Lyons Hospital
14. American Red Cross—provides resources during local crisis & Super Storm Sandy relief
15. Suburban Chamber of Commerce Foundation—Joe Ciullo scholarship @ GL High School
16. Governor Livingston High School Athletic Department—“Impact Concussion Testing program”
17. Berkeley Heights Youth Police Academy—Summer program teaching children about safety & law
18. BHTV Comcast 34/Fios47 “This Week in Berkeley Heights”, a weekly news & information show
19. Berkeley Heights Clock Tower Project –new clock tower in the center of Berkeley Heights