BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The 22nd annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk raised $16,000, as nearly 450 runners and walkers took to the township streets on Sunday, September 16th, 2018.
“Bright sunshine and crystal blue skies continued to bless us this year for our 22nd 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, 19 local community organizations benefited from the money raised at the event thru grants from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, host of the Berkeley Heights 5K. “This year’s donations, given on behalf of all of those (runners, walkers, patron sponsors and volunteers) who make our charity event possible, bring our 22 year total to $222,600. 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 can fulfill our goal of community support through continued grants to local organizations and individuals in need,” said Dr. Smith. “The organizations we support directly improve the lives of our neighbors and help make our community stronger. The notion of neighbors helping neighbors is really what the Berkeley Heights 5K is all about. When I started this event 22 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,” added Dr. Smith.
He was quick to point out, “Without the generous support of our corporate and local business patron sponsors 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 heroes each year continue to be our sponsors, both the local business community and our larger corporate friends stepping forward to help make this event another success.”
Athletes and spectators were pampered by local professional massage therapists with free pre- and post-race sports massages compliments of the professionals from Berkeley Heights Massage Envy. Free blood pressure screenings were performed by sponsor eMedical Offices, and a DJ entertained the crowd with music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed munching on fresh bagels and oranges, along with bottled water and sports drinks served and provided by the BH Investors Bank team, all under the Taylor Rental big top tent.
Post-Race drawings were plentiful as the John Hawk Agency, an Allstate insurance and financial services firm in Chatham, together with Smith Chiropractic, donated several iPads. Weichert Realtors Watchung gave several substantial prizes with lots of other sponsors at tables providing many more free offers, drawings, swag and valuable information. Runner and Walkers moved thru spectacular Red White & 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 event sponsors. “We really encourage our sponsors to get involved and so many of them join us on the field with great booths and free drawings,” Dr. Smith said.
This year’s top three male and female finishers received custom Lucite race plagues. Receiving the top hardware was men’s champion Justin Phillips from Springfield with a time of 19:20. James Doucette from Chatham was second with a time of 19:21 and Jackson Levine age 13 from Summit took third place with a time of 20:06. On the women’s side, the champion was Jen Nitkowski from Basking Ridge with a time of 21:10. Meredith Forman from Gillette finished second with a time of 21:49, and Gwen Mersereau from Berkeley Heights age 11 grabbed third place with a time of 22:57.
Additionally, 76 beautiful age group custom Crystal 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. In 22 years, we have seen a lot of magic, and I realize how much this event and all the lives it touches means to me.” Dr. Smith went on, “I never know what kind of good things are going to happen each year, I just know they will. For example, we had three runners in their 80s compete and finish the race, they are Joseph LaBruno 87, Shirley Pettijohn 84 & Melva Murray 86, plus more 10 and under runners finished the race than ever before (thanks in great part to the BH Wolf Pack running club), with many more stories of human triumph in-between!”
Dr. Smith added, “This year’s Patron support was again overwhelmingly generous. Without the following local business and corporate leaders, our charity event and all the good it does would not be possible. I encourage everyone to support the businesses who support us.”
Berkeley Aquatic Club New Providence & Berkeley Heights
Allstate The John Hawk Agency
Bassett Associates Summit
Elizabeth Scheffer Fund
Goodman’s Restaurant & Deli
JAG Physical Therapy
Massage Envy Spa Berkeley Heights
Runnells Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare
Samuel G. Smith Jr. Memorial Fund
SMITH CHIROPRACTIC family care & sports injury
Sneaker Factory running centers
The Liberty Group Berkeley Heights
Weichert Realtors Watchung offices
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine- Xi Ren Zhou, OMD
Autumn Lake Healthcare
CET Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Connect One Bank
Cooney Financial Services
Don-Tre Driving School
Family Foot Care – Gary L. Quartello, DPM
First Class Electric
Gary S. Crystal, DMD, Berkeley Heights
The Goddard School of Long Hill Twp
John P. Sullivan CPA CFP
Law Office of David C. Bendush
MARY’S Your Name Here
Paras & Paras, Summit
Philip E. Memoli DMD—The Center for Natural Dentistry
Tee Bag-- Screen-Printing & Custom Embroidery
Special thanks to all the dedicated Volunteers, especially those from the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation, 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 Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, Sharon Brady for web design and IT support, Sue Cunningham for logo design, and Kayla Smith for all event photos.
Complete race results, including 100’s of 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.
Note: Registration for 23rd annual Berkeley Heights 5K on Sunday, September 15th, is now open. For information, please go to www.berkeleyheights5k.com. Dr. Smith and the BH5K team have several special things planned for the 23rd Anniversary Event! Race Director, Dr. Patrick R. Smith can be reached at either his practice, Smith Chiropractic 134 Snyder Avenue Berkeley Heights, by calling 908-464-8899, or online at www.drpatricksmith.com.
Many Benefit from the BH5K in 2018
The following community-based organizations received grants from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation/Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk on behalf of all the Runners, Walkers, Volunteers and Sponsors:
- Girls on the Run Union County—program builds “stronger” girls in elementary and middle schools
- Governor Livingston High School Athletic Department— “Impact Concussion Testing program”
- GLHS Booster program—supports extra curricular activities for High School Students
- Veterans Memorial Park Renewal—providing plants and park maintenance
- Suburban Chamber of Commerce Foundation—Graduating Senior Scholarship at Governor Livingston High School
- Berkeley Heights Street Fair Grant-- hosting over 19,000 locals on Springfield Avenue
- BH Youth Baseball summer camp grant
- Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission—Free Summer Concerts in the Park series
- BHPD Youth Police Academy—Summer program teaching local children about safety, law & more
- Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission—summer playground recycle program
- BHFD Volunteer Fire company #1—new equipment grant
- Summit Area YMCA—major grant for the new BH YMCA construction Campaign
- BH Education Foundation—major grant for ongoing enrichment programs
- BH Rescue Squad—new ambulance fund grant
- BH Peppertown Park renewal grant—enhancing downtown green space
- BH Winter Walk Grant—to showcase downtown BH for the holiday season and give back to the community
- American Red Cross for direct relief efforts from hurricanes Florence & Michael
- VFW post 6259 Berkeley Heights---provides resources for local vets & aids those at Lyons VA Hospital
- The Wounded Warrior Project—Grassroots organization providing aid to injured servicemen and women since 9/11/01
Photo Captions for 2018 BH5K
*Note: please place photo credit kaylasmithart.com for each photo