MORRISTOWN, NJ - A lot of people in Morris County love to run; especially if they can give back to a great cause. And on February 8, close to 200 people gathered in the business parking lot of Daily Plan It, located on Speedwell Avenue, to help the disabled in the seventh annual Cupid’s Chase 5K.

Andrew Schmid of Easton, PA crossed the finish line first with a time of 18:03.28. Mike Callahan of Summit and Aiden Wood finished second and third, respectively. Madison residents, Michael Griffin, Sheryl McKinnon and Carmelina Giordano were in the top 50 to cross the finish line. (See the video of Schmid crossing the finish line first)

The run was organized by Community Options, Inc. (COI), a non-profit organization that works to support people with disabilities with housing and employment opportunities. Their main headquarters is based in Princeton, but has offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

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“It’s an honor do this 5K and I enjoy it every year,” said Tracy Mendola, regional state director of COI’s Morris/Essex/Sussex office. “And I love all the people who come and try to raise as much as possible for all the individuals that Community Options supports.”

“I love being able to contribute to this cause and help out Community Options and the disabled,” said Rockaway Borough resident Linda McGovern, who has run in Cupid’s Chase since its creation. “Here, I love the energy from everybody and the fun it generates. Everyone has a purpose here and Community Options does a phenomenal job getting others to work together.”

McGovern is a member of the Rockaway Borough Board of Education. She has done many 5Ks before in other towns such as Vernon as well as mud runs. She was joined by her kids, 14-year-old son Matthew and 11-year-old daughter Katelyn.

“I like Cupid’s Chase because I get to see and run with my friends,” said Katelyn, who also volunteered for COI by making posters for the event.

The McGoverns were also joined by several friends, including Lissette Petry, who came to run in Cupid’s Chase for the first time.

“This 5K is amazing with a great cause,” said Petry. “My brother Danny has cerebral palsy and I love to help him out and other people like him.”

On average, Cupid’s Chase can raise as much as $20,000. This year’s runners rejoiced when learning they collected about $26,000. (see the video of the beginning of the race)

For a complete list of results, click HERE

For more information on Community Options, Inc., and for other opportunities to join in their cause to support the disabled, visit their website at https://www.comop.org/.

 

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