BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The skies cleared in the nick of time to kick off the Summit Area YMCA Mother's Day 5K to a record crowd of 1,368 on Sunday, May 14 at Memorial Field in Berkeley Heights. After a full day of driving rain the previous day, the morning of the event was greeted by cool breezes and partly cloudy skies, perfect for participants in the run/walk.

Dr. Donald DeFabio emceed the event and kept the crowd engaged with his spirited announcements and give aways. The event also hosted a fun magic show, invigorating Zumba dancing, a tot trot, face painting and music.

Patrick Manion of Summit won first place with a time of 16:54; Christopher Heckelman placed second with a time of 17:12.4; and Gillaum Flavigny placed third with a time of 17:19.5. Complete race results are listed at www.thesay.org/5ktimes

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This year was a special year that honored the memory of Dawne Hausman. Over $19,000 was raised in Dawne's memory to support childcare scholarships at The Learning Circle YMCA, one of 3 branches of the Summit Area YMCA providing quality childcare.  In addition, there was a large presence of support from the Summit High School Cross Country team and athletic community in support of the Hausman family.

Dawne’s three children presented the award for 1st Place Female Ages 6-9 to Ellie Robertson of Berkeley Heights in honor of their mom, who was involved with running and coaching young girls in the “Girls On The Run” Program. The Y is grateful for Dawne’s friends and family who worked with the Y to continue her legacy of advocating for children in the Summit community.

All age groups participated in this chip-timed, USATF-sanctioned Grand Prix race which raised a record of $59,000 in net proceeds. The 5K run celebrates and honors those impacted by cancer, and proceeds benefit the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA cancer recovery program.

Local cancer survivor Laurie Liming was determined to finish the 5K. She not only conquered cancer, she reached her goal of finishing the race. She joined the Livestrong Program at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, which was a life changer, and for Laurie, it "was also lifesaving."  

The program is 100% free to all cancer survivors and patients looking to regain their health and strength in a small group, supportive environment. LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA participants receive a free 12-week membership to the Y as they work on rebuilding muscle mass, strength, increasing flexibility and endurance, and more. This meaningful program is offered in both the Berkeley Heights YMCA and the Summit YMCA.

Summit Area YMCA President & CEO Paul Kieltyka said, “We are so proud of the tremendous outpouring of support from our communities for our cancer recovery program, LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA, and for the Hausman family. The Summit Area Y Mother’s Day 5K Run and Walk has become the tradition for all of those we serve to celebrate our mothers while also exhibiting healthy living.”

The Summit Area YMCA thanked the volunteers -- that included staff, community volunteers, attendees, and sponsors – Platinum Sponsors Atlantic Rehabilitation and Taylor Rentals – for making this event our most successful race to date. Visit the Summit Area YMCA Facebook page.

Visit the Summit Area YMCA for photographs of all of the race day events at www.thesay.org/5kpics.

The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501c3 organizations. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.theSAY.org/give.