RANDOLPH, NJ- For Randolph Fire Department Captain Eric Fucito, giving back and donating time to his community is second nature. On top of the contless hours he puts in as a volunteer fireman, Fucito and a group of his peers recently spent more of their personal time to give back to Randolph Youth track and field members.
“I came up with an idea, and decided to call it ‘Race a Hero Day,’ said Fucito. “I would like to make this an annual event, and expand this for the younger kids to include teachers and other professions.
Fucito, along with three Randolph Fire Department members, Lieutenant Billy Schwarz Jr, FF Harrison Bamdas, FF Todd Vanderhoof, along with Patrolman Jason Gould representing the Randolph Police Department, arranged to be at a special practice for the youth track and field program.
“We wanted to show the young athletes that exercising is a life long journey that helps us into adulthood, and to show young children that the police department and fire fighters are regular people that care about them,” explained Fucito. “We spoke to the kids about the importance of exercising and proper nutrition.”
Maryellen Higgins and Patty Danner assisted Fucito in planning and coordinating the practice, while the high school volunteers who are assistant coaches for the kids during the season, helped to organize the kids.
The kids ran 50 meter sprints, during which they were able to race their coaches, firefighters, and the police. A game of Red Light, Green Light was next, followed by the long jump. Fucito stated, “The delight on the children's faces really was special when they saw their local heroes participate in the long jump and soar through the sky to hit marks that they aspire to achieve.”
Prior to the end the police and fire fighters decided to race each other, to which Fucito stated “The amazing cheering from the children really made the event worth all the effort.”
Fucito concluded by stating, “This was only possible with the help of the great coaching staff of the rec clinic, the volunteers from Randolph Fire Department and our Randolph Police Department. What we took away from this was the fact that the simple acts can make a huge impact. This gave us a renewed experience of enjoying our passions.”