MILLBURN, NJ - Millburn High School was awash with color on Monday as it hosted the inaugural Color Run, otherwise known as “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”. Color Runs around the world tout over six million participants in over 35 countries and is widely used as an effective fundraising tool. MHS Senior Talia Fruchtman organized the event to raise money for one of her role models, former Hartshorn teacher Rachel Isola.
Isola, a mentor to many current Millburn students and the daughter of MHS secretary Susan Priore, recently received the devastating diagnosis of leukemia for her preschool son, Christian. When Fruchtman heard the news, she was determined to help as a way to give back to a significant figure in her life.
“She had a huge impact on the foundation of my education,” said Fruchtman. “When I found out that her son had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I really wanted to help and make it [the treatment process] easier in any way that I could.”
The Color Run raised thousands of dollars, starting with $4,000 in pre-registration alone. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Christian’s cause. The rest of the funds will be donated to the Thirst Project, which fills wells in underdeveloped countries, and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, through the Millburn High School Key Club. Fruchtman partnered with Key Club to help organize and run the successful event.
The Color Run dyed the back fields of the high school glowing shades in all the colors of the rainbow. Students and community members who registered were given an exclusive white Color Run t-Shirt and were encouraged to fill them with colored powder. Color cannons kicked off the traditional Color Run 5K.
Following the race around the school grounds, all of the participants gathered for pizza, an ice cream truck, and a raffle, featuring prizes from all over downtown Millburn including the Millburn Deli, Gito, Emack and Bolios and many others.
Fruchtman was pleased with the overwhelming amount of participation in the event, and the support for the cause. “It shows how willing everyone [at MHS] is to help out the community.”
The Key Club lauded the Color Run as the largest fundraiser of the year. However, even after organizing a successful Run, Key Club President Orli Forster continues to raise money in order to help others around the world. With the start of the new service year approaching, the Key Club will staff the annual MHS Talent Show, read to Millburn-Short Hills children at the public library, and visit the elderly in their attempt to better the world on a domestic and global scale.