WESTFIELD, NJ — Participants of all ages and abilities are sought for the Westfield Area YMCA’s 5K Run for Everyone on Sunday, Sept.18. Immediately after the race, the YMCA will host a family fun event in the gym until 1:30 p.m. featuring inflatables, games and more.
“We will have the obstacle course, moon bounce and games led by Y sports instructors,” Greg Hatzisavvas, senior director member and wellness engagement at the Y, said. “Family swim will also be available and open to the community that day from noon until 1:30 p.m. We will have Y giveaways at the after-event for children, such as beach balls and Frisbees.”
The night before the race, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., Lord & Taylor in Westfield will host a fashion show for young adults with special needs participating in the YMCA's Dragonfly program and Westfield Area Y Flyers Track Club athletes who are participating and volunteering in the run. All are invited to support the Dragonfly program participants and programs for people with special needs at the YMCA. Lord & Taylor will donate a percentage of sales that evening toward the YMCA, Hatzisavvas said.
The Run for Everyone continues the September 5K tradition at the YMCA initiated by Greta’s Run four years ago. (Greta’s Run has since expanded its mission and become the Greta’s Run Foundation.)
Money raised from the 5K will be used to continue to grow the Dragonfly program, which offers physical, recreational and social programs for young adults with special needs. The program currently offers boxing, yoga, personal training, games and cards, arts and crafts and discussion and social groups. In addition, the YMCA has hired a certified therapeutic recreation therapist to oversee these programs and to develop new ones.
The goal of this year's 5K is to raise $30,000, Hatzisavvas said.
Entry fees of $30 per person will cover the cost of the race. Money for the Dragonfly program will be raised through sponsorships and donations. Runners, walkers and rollers are encouraged to form teams.
The race begins at 11 a.m. Awards will be given to overall and age group winners and participants will have a chance to win prizes, including gift certificates to Rudy’s, 16 Prospect, Turning Point, Brick Oven, Sole, Jay’s Cycle Center, Evalyn Dunn Galery, Tutti Baci Italian Bakery & Deli, Savory Spice Shop, Salon Visage and Gallery U, Hatzisavvas said. Refreshments, including bagels, water and fruit will be served.
Before the race, singer Samantha Sprechman will perform the National Anthem.
“Samantha has been singing for nearly a decade of her life taking vocal lessons training for a Broadway style,” Hatzisavvas said. “She sings at the Westfield Musical Club's annual concerts as well as at the choir concerts at her high school every year.”
Hatzisavvas emphasized that the Run for Everyone 5K atmosphere will be fun.
“Families and volunteers will be cheering throughout the course,” he said. “Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community groups will be volunteering at water stations and as marshals along the course.”
To register, volunteer or become a sponsor of the Run For Everyone, click here.
Sponsors so far include:
American DG Energy
D.S.G.K. Drywall, Inc.
The Grinis Family
Lentz Plumbing & Heating
Lord & Taylor
Meyer & Depew Company
The Musial Group Architects
In Memory of Sean Young
Bovella's Pastry Shoppe
Dan Swayze & Son, Inc.
The Fortino Family
Kessler Rehabilitation Center
Park Elite Cheerleading
Potter Architects, LLC
Speedy Sewer & Drain
Westfield Area Y's Men's Club
Westfield Audio Visual Inc.
Westfield Pediatric Dental Group
16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro
The Brick Oven
Downtown Westfield Corp.
Evalyn Dunn Gallery
The Farmhouse Store
Gallery U Boutique
Jay's Cycle Center
Rudy's of Garwood
Savory Spice Shop
ShopRite of Garwood
Tutti Baci Italian Bakery and Deli
Westfield Rescue Squad
TAP into Westfield is a proud sponsor of the Run for Everyone.