BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The 18th annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk generated $13,000, as nearly 400 runners and walkers took to the township streets on Sunday September 14, 2014.
“Bright sunshine and crystal blue skies returned this year for our 18th annual Berkeley Heights 5K and we had another wonderful community event," said Race Director, Dr. Patrick Smith of Smith Chiropractic in Berkeley Heights.
As a result, 17 local non-profit organizations benefited from the money raised at the event through grants from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, host of the Berkeley Heights 5K. “This year’s donations will bring our 18 year total to $155,600.00, 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 18 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 and the professionals from the Berkeley Heights Massage Envy, free blood pressure screenings were performed by sponsor e Medical Urgent Care, and a DJ entertained the crowd with music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed munching on fresh bagels and oranges, bottled water and sports drinks and Pete’s Place provided frozen yogurt and coffee. 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, drawings and valuable information.
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, across Park Avenue from Memorial Field at the Berkeley Heights Community Center, with a record number of individuals donating 36 pints of life saving blood. As thanks to all participants in this vital community event, the Berkeley Heights 5K held a special drawing for an iPad, which was won by Edward Cook from Berkeley Heights.
Representatives from the Wounded Warrior Project were on site to give out information about the organization's important work. The Wounded Warrior Project is a growing grass roots program that assists servicemen and women who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world since September 11, 2001. Click here for more information about Wounded Warrior Project.
This year’s top three male and female finishers received custom Lucite race plagues. Receiving the top hardware were men’s champion Bobby Hammond from Flanders with a time of 17:34, Scott Moran from Livingston finished second with a time of 18:32 and John Hendy from Berkeley Heights took third place with a time of 19:48. On the women’s side, was Champion Susan Kinsella from Millington with a time of 20:46, Debbie Merrick from New Providence finished second with a time of 21:16, and Deborah Arent-Wallin from New Providence grabbed third place with a time of 22:44.
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 said, “Each year it is very uplifting to see the triumph of human spirit displayed at the Berkeley Heights 5K."
"Ethann Hinic from Berkeley Heights, age seven, was the youngest finisher, and Vince Mathews from New Providence, age 75, was the oldest to finish the main event.” Dr. Smith added,
“I never know what kind of good things are going to happen each year, I just know they will. This year one of our sponsors, Kayla’s Creative Art Studio wanted to do something special at the race, so we brainstormed and had participants paint our running man logo on small canvases at Kayla’s on field booth for a small donation, the best 15 were selected, and bound together creating a larger piece of custom art,” said Dr smith. “We feel this painting, titled ‘Runner’, really captures the spirit of the BH5K”. It is hanging in the lobby of Smith Chiropractic and Dr. Smith invites everyone to come enjoy it.
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
Bassett Associates Summit
DERCO copying, printing, & supplies
e Medical Offices
JAG Physical Therapy
Kayla’s Creative Art Studio
Law office of David C. Bendush
Massage Envy Spa
Primrose School of Berkeley Heights
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
First Class Electric
Gabriele Fitness & Performance
Gary S. Crystal, DMD, Berkeley Heights
Goodman’s Restaurant & Deli
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
Special thanks to all the dedicated volunteers, 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 600 professional HD photos which can be downloaded for Free, are available at www.BerkeleyHeights5K.com. Log on to learn more about the Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race & Fitness Walk.
Editors Note: Registration for 2015 Berkeley Heights 5K Sunday, September 20, is now open. For information visit www.berkeleyheights5k.com. Race Director, Dr. Patrick R. Smith can be reached at either his practice, Smith Chiropractic located at 134 Snyder Avenue in Berkeley Heights, by calling 908-464-8899, or email www.drpatricksmith.com.
Many Benefit from the BH5K in 2014
The following community-based, non-profit organizations received grants from the Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk on behalf of all the runners, Walkers Volunteers and Sponsors:
- Berkeley Heights Education Foundation – provides school enrichment programs
- Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League – youth sports program
- Summit-Area Baby Center – provides support for local infants in need
- Our House Inc. Berkeley Heights Group Home – assists developmentally-disabled adults
- Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad
- Berkeley Heights Volunteer Fire Department
- Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission
- Family Promise of Summit—helps families in need thru interfaith hospitality networks
- Santa Claus Shop, Summit – Keeps the spirit of giving alive for over 600 local families in need
- Berkeley Heights Public Library Foundation—providing much needed library resources
- 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
- VFW post 6259 Berkeley Heights—provides resources for local vets & aids those @ Lyons Hospital
- American Red Cross—provides resources during local crisis like Super Storm Sandy relief
- Suburban Chamber of Commerce Foundation—Joe Ciullo scholarship @ GL High School
- Governor Livingston High School Athletic Department—“Impact Concussion Testing program”
- Berkeley Heights Youth Police Academy—Summer program teaching local children about safety, law & more
- Berkeley Heights Clock Tower Project –new clock tower in the center of Berkeley Heights