Strides4Students Draws Large Crowd on 'Perfect Morning' for 5K


NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - It was a perfect fall morning for approximately 450 runners and walkers that took to the Borough streets for the Strides4Students 5K on a Sunday. The event, organized by the New Providence Education Foundation (NPEF) was supported by several businesses and local merchants and raised about $45,000 to support the students and the teachers in the New Providence Schools. (SEE Video Slideshow at end of story.) 

Corporate sponsors include Investor's Bank, Bell Labs, Alcatel Lucent, JP Morgan Chase and CR Bard.

In its third year, the NPEF has organized the annual 5K as an effort to bring the community together to raise funds to support innovative programs that enrich the educational experience of the students in the New Providence Schools.

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Awards were presented to the top three runners per age group for both male and female. First place overall for men went to Jack Ryan, a 13 year old cross county runner from Chatham, who completed the 5K in 19:49 minutes, a personal best. Tom Lamanna finished second overall in 20.02 and Rickster Zalasin of New Providence finished in third overall with a time of 20:12. Kate Ondrejko of New Providence finished in 22:12 minutes, obtaining the first place for women.

New this year were team participants that raised approximately $3,000 combined. Among the top youth fundraising teams was a group of 10 and 11 year old boys from the New Providence Nitros baseball team who raised $1,300 from donations from friends and families. 

Numerous prizes, donated by local businesses and community members were given away, including Jingle Ball tickets; Giants, Jets, Nets and Devils tickets and a Game Truck party.  

A team of more than 100 volunteers led by event chairs Alma DeMetropolis and Mary Engelbechtsen managed registration tables, kept runners on course as they wound their way through roads and served up refreshments and water during and after the run.  The New Providence PAL cheerleaders were on hand encouraging the runners with their Pioneer spirit. 

Immediately following the race, children seven and under enjoyed carnival games and participated in a Tot Trot at Lieder Field -- running the length of the football field and around the track. Each participant was rewarded with a t-shirt and fun give aways.

The Borough and school district administration and teachers actively participated in the event. New Providence Mayor Al Morgan welcomed runners at the start and wished them luck. "This is an other example of the support of this great community that encourages organizations such as the NPEF to continue their great work creating opportunities that inspire teachers to innovate and enable all of our students to thrive,” said Mayor Al Morgan.

Dr. David Miceli, Superintendent of Schools was also in attendance with his daughters, who placed in their respective age group. 

Local businesses set up tables with give aways in the sponsor tent along with free massages by Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness [who also led the pre-race warm up] and evaluations provided by New Providence Chiropractic. 

More than 50 businesses and local merchants contributed to the success of the event including sponsors: Allstate, Prestige Diner, Mariner Wealth ADvisors, New Providence Lions Club, Ken Rent Party & Tent, NP Chiropractic, Taylor Rental, Junior League of Summit, The Richland Knowles Agency, Ippolito Memorial, Elements Massage, Elefante Music, TouchPoint, Paolo Kitchen, Orangetheory, Lakeland Bank, Pure Pilates, Bed Bath & Beyond, PSP, Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, Spring Cleaners, Colonial Appliance, Barbera & Barbera, Clearpoint, Skin Deep Salon and Spa, Gelormini Automotive, Dim Sum Village, Starbucks, Hair Salon Body & Soul, D'Amico Landscaping, Cartridge World, Murray Hill Veterinary, Garden State Realty, Bagel Cafe, Avenue Deli, Zita'z Homemade Ice Cream, Gabriele Fitness and TAPinto New Providence.

DeMetropolis was very grateful for the many ways in which volunteers, sponsors, the school district, the students, the borough and its residents have contributed to the success of the Strides4Students 5K.  

About: NPEF creates successful partnerships between the New Providence, NJ, public school community and the community at large, including residents, alumni, and businesses, to provide for and enhance the educational experiences of our students. The members of NPEF and their supporters raise and distribute monies for the schools each and every year. These grants are teacher-initiated, help supplement existing programs, and provide for new and innovative eff orts, many of which would not otherwise be funded.

The mission of the NPEF is to generate and allocate resources that will enhance the educational experiences of students in the New Providence Public Schools; foster partnerships between the New Providence Public Schools and the community to enrich the educational programs in the schools; and support new and innovative educational programs that are otherwise not funded through traditional sources.

All proceeds from Strides4Kids support the New Providence Schools and are tax deductible.

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