Union County News

Greta’s Run 5K Honors Memory of Westfield Teen, Raises Money to Help People with Special Needs

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Almost 1,000 people participated in the fourth annual Greta’s Run Sunday. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Almost 1,000 people participated in the fourth annual Greta’s Run Sunday. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Kelly Ray traveled with the Challenged Athletes Foundation from Connecticut to participate in Greta’s Run. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Anita and Dennis McGorty. The Challenged Athletes Foundation provided Dennis with the handcycle he uses to race. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Jayne Ruotolo and Ben Nanna. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Almost 1,000 people participated in the fourth annual Greta’s Run in Westfield Sunday. The 5K run, walk, roll and fundraiser for people of all abilities is held in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School student who died 2002 after a large tree branch fell on her during lunch.

“Greta was a beautiful person inside and out,” Greta’s childhood friend and Greta’s Run co-founder Jayne Ruotolo told the crowd. “She had passion for helping individuals with special needs and the proceeds from today help support that cause and honor her legacy.”

To see race results, click here.

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Recently, Greta’s Run skipped a year to become a 501c3 volunteer-led nonprofit, moved to Roosevelt Intermediate School and changed the date from September to April. Participants travel in from 24 states, and Greta’s Run has adopted a local and national approach to impact. This year, Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will benefit from the proceeds.

Fourteen-year-old Kelly Ray, who runs on a prosthetic leg, traveled with the Challenged Athletes Foundation from Connecticut to participate in Greta’s Run.

“CAF is a really great organization that helped give me back my life,” Ray said. “They helped keep me active after I lost my leg and I’m forever grateful.”

After the race, the official Greta's Run After Party was held downtown at 16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro, where Chill Cryotherapy of Westfield offered free treatments.

Sponsors included:

DRAGONFLY SUPPORTERS: Westfield Public Schools, Westfield Athletics, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

GOLD SPONSORS: Ironshore, Lord & Taylor, Jersey Mike's Subs of Westfield, 16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro.
SILVER SPONSORS: TAPinto Westfield, Washington School 5th Grade, EuroSport, Metropolis, Union Pork Store, The Anderson Family, BMW of Bloomfield.

BRONZE SPONSORS: The Fortino Family, Westfield Boosters, Rudy's Ristorante, Bentley Laboratories, Westfield Memorial Pool Marlins, The Fallig Family, Guillotine Salon and Spa, The Vickers Family, The Anonymous Family, Elegant Homes NJ, The Mistretta Family, Westfield Pediatric Dental Group, Westfield Health & Rehabilitation, The River and Rail Cantina, Spector Foerst & Associates, UBS Financial Services Inc., The Juice House, Hilltop Bicycles, The Salad House of Westfield, ChillRx Cryotherapy, Gold Medal Fitness, Fit Body Boot Camp, Wheel House Elite Cycle Studio, Parisi Speed School, Personal Best Training Center, Core Pilates Reformer Studio, Crossfit Garwood, Garjuilo Produce, The Schoenemann Family.

TAPinto Westfield is a proud sponsor of Greta’s Run.

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