ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Essex County will be participating in seven special partnerships to increase awareness and help raise funds for: the Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure; The Valerie Fund; the Run for Rachel/Rachel Coalition; the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc.; The American Heart Association Heart Walk; and the ARC of Essex County.

Participants from each event will receive reduced admission to the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex on the day of their respective fund-raising events (participants must bring their race bibs or proof of registration to receive the discounts). The Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, in West Orange includes: Turtle Back Zoo, which New Jersey Monthly magazine recently named the best zoo in the state for the third consecutive year;  Codey Arena, the miniGOLF Safari; paddle boats on the Orange Reservoir; the Treetop Adventure Course; and South Mountain Reservation.

“Each of these well-respected organizations does a great deal to make a positive difference in and improve the quality of life for our residents. I invite the public to run, walk, golf or donate to help out these really great causes,” said Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. “As a way to say thank you to these organizations and the thousands of people who support them, we are offering reduced admissions to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari for the people who participate in these events,” he added.

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“I make it my business to support these phenomenal organizations,” Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver said. “I know there are families who would not get the support they need if it weren’t for these charitable groups,” she added.

“These are all great organizations with worthy causes and we are happy to support them to make this a better place,” Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold said.

A description of the organizations and events schedules are as follows:

On Saturday, April 12, the 16th Annual ARC of Essex County’s Building Tomorrows 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk will be held at Essex County Brookdale Park, which is located at Watchung Avenue in Bloomfield, and Grove Street, in Montclair. Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m., and the 5K Run will start at 10 a.m. For information and registration, visit

The ARC of Essex County provides supportive services for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. The race route is certified by the USATF.

“The ARC of Essex County provides 47 programs and services that provide lifelong support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said ARC of Essex County Director of Communications Bill Bray. “Brookdale Park is a great location and we are pleased to be partnering with the county,” he added.


On Sunday, May 4, the 7th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure will be held in the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, which is located at 560 Northfield Avenue, in West Orange. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m., the 5K Run will start at 8:00 a.m., and the Walk and 1.5 Fun Run will start at 10 a.m. For more information about the events, visit or call 908-277-2904, Ext. 10 or 17.

The organization raises funds for breast cancer research and treatment. The 5K run is certified by the USATF. New events for this year include a 50-yard dash for children, an obstacle course and Medieval Times demonstration.

“We thank the employees of the County who raise funds and come out to support us at the event,” said Susan G. Komen North Jersey Executive Director Jennifer Griola. “Not only do we raise funds for breast cancer treatment and research, we want to raise awareness about breast cancer on the ground so we can help our neighbors and friends throughout the community.”


On Thursday, May 15, the 5th Annual David Harris Invitational Golf Tournament, which will benefit the Give the Kids Hope Foundation, Inc., will be held at the Green Brook Country Club, which is located at 100 Greenbrook Road, in North Caldwell. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. Space is limited. Advanced registration is required to participate. For more information, visit or call 973-309-2645.

Proceeds will be used to build a new regulation size basketball court for the children at Camp Hope in West Milford, provide recreational and educational opportunities for underprivileged children, and support scholarships for children to attend Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.

“I always look forward to this event because it’s an opportunity to thank the County Executive for the great work that is being done,” said Give the Kids Hope Foundation Founder and President Steve Tilton. “We support recreation programs to improve the quality of life for underprivileged children.”


On Sunday, May 18, the 14th Annual Rachel Coalition’s Run for Rachel will be held at the Livingston Memorial Oval, which is located at Livingston High School on S. Livingston Ave., in Livingston. Registration will begin at 7:45 a.m., the 5K Run will start at 9:30 a.m., and the 1 mile Fun Run/Walk will commence at 10:15 a.m. This year, the Run for Rachel is a USATF certified 5K race.  For information and registration, contact 908-902-8587 or or go to the website at:

Proceeds will be used to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence.

“We offer comprehensive programs that help families get through domestic violence issues and some very difficult times,” said Run for Rachel Chairwoman Andrea Bier. “We thank Joe DiVincenzo and the Board of Freeholders for their support to help us cross the finish line and put an end to domestic violence.”


On Saturday, June 14, the Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run will be held in Essex County Verona Park, which is located on Bloomfield Ave., in Verona. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m., with the 5k Race starting at 8:30 a.m., and the Walk beginning at 10:00 a.m. For more information on the events, visit or call 973-761-0422.

Proceeds will be used to support the comprehensive care of children with cancer and blood disorders

“We thank the County for allowing us to use Verona Park,” said Valerie Fund Executive Director Barry Kirschner. “It’s an absolutely spectacular facility. For the last 38 years, the Valerie Fund has been providing the highest quality of care to children.”


On Saturday, June 21, at 9:00 a.m., the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will host MuckFest MS in Essex County South Mountain Reservation, which is located at Intersection of Northfield Avenue and Cherry Lane, in West Orange. Participants will have to navigate their way through a variety of military-style obstacles over a five-mile course. For information and registration, call 800-3-GoMuck or visit

Proceeds will help provide programs and services to people living with multiple sclerosis in the Northeast area and drive cutting-edge research aimed at stopping MS.

“We provide programs and services to over 10,000 people in this region as well as fuel research to fight MS,” said MS Society Director Jim Roberts.


On Sunday, October 26, the American Heart Association Heart Walk will be held at the ADP campus, which is located at 1 ADP Boulevard, in Roseland. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the Walk will start at 10 a.m. For more information, visit or call 973-762-7831.

Proceeds will be used to raise awareness and support prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“Essex County has supported us tremendously,” said Renee Helfenstein from the American Heart Association. “Everyone is always excited to come to the walk and they come out in large numbers. Our goal is to build healthy lives that are free of heart disease and stroke and we are doing this by encouraging people to increase their physical activity and improve their nutritional habits.”