Morristown, NJ: Children's Dentistry of Morristown, complete with the Tooth Fairy, ran in Saturday's Action For Distraction 5K, an annual 5K run/walk to benefit Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown. Action For Distraction is a charity founded by Zachary Rice, 13, of Long Valley, N.J., which raises money to provide gaming systems and other fun distractions for the hospital's pediatric patients.
Community businesses and nearly 500 participants came to support the event, which included face painting, therapy dogs, prizes and more. Dr. Ryan Scally of Children's Dentistry of Morristown came in first place, stating, "It means a lot to be able to support Zach's mission in any way we can. We know firsthand what it's like working with pediatric patients, so this was a great cause for us to get behind."
"Just because you walk with a limp doesn't mean you can't blaze a trail," said Zach, who was inspired to create the event after spending long periods of time at Goryeb due to a painful hip infection and a subsequent debilitating bone condition. Zach's only outlet was the gaming system his father brought to his room.
“I quickly learned how important being distracted from pain can be to a child in the hospital,” said Zach.
After being released from the hospital, Zach decided that he wanted to help other children get similar relief by purchasing gaming systems for the hospital. With the help of his mother Shannon, Zach decided that the best way to raise money was by putting together a 5K Race. They got to work by making phone calls, reserving a park, creating sponsorship packets and reaching out to local businesses. Since its first event four years ago, Action For Distraction has raised more than $60,000.