ROXBURY, NJ - On an drizzly Sunday morning at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna, rain clouds parted just in time for this year’s Color Fun Run.

The event, hosted by the Roxbury Rotary/Interact Club, was conducted in support of Matt Adonis, a fourth grader at Nixon Elementary School who is battling a brain tumor.

This year’s Color Fun Run boasted 569 participants who helped raise $14,627 to be given directly to Matt Adonis and his family. Matt’s mother, Alyssa Adonis, said the funds raised Sunday will be used to pay outstanding medical bills, to take a trip with Matt and to benefit the pediatric cancer community through Matt’s charity called Cheers for Matthew.

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The event itself was primarily a paint-run around Horseshoe Lake Park. Children, adults and even pets crossed the finish line having turned their event shirts from white to rainbow colors by passing outposts where they were bombarded with the harmless, colorful powder.

The morning also featured performances from Found Vegas, a local alternative band, Christopher D’Amico, the father of last year’s Fun Run Fund recipient and Nixon Elementary School JAM, a group of fourth graders in Matt’s class who are determined to use music to make a positive change in the world.

Local businesses donated food for the event. Playa Bowls volunteered to sell bowls as a fundraiser for Matt’s cause. In fact, the Rotary and Interact Clubs did not pay a cent for the event, said Rotarian Steve Alford. He said everything - from the T-shirts to the color powder - was donated to support the Adonis family.

Back to His Childhood

“Today means everything for us,” said Alyssa Adonis. “When you come out here and see so many faces, most of which you don’t know, that is an incredible, beautiful feeling.”

Brain scans revealed her son’s tumor a day before he and his twin sister started the fourth grade. This week, after a 9-month period Alyssa described as “hell,” the future looks colorful for the youngster.

“Matt is starting what is hopefully his last round of chemo ever this week,” said his mother. “If that goes well and all his scans come back clean, that is the end of active treatment.  There is still a long journey ahead, but hopefully this is the last drop of chemo that will enter our little boy’s body. Then he can go back to his childhood.”

Matt, who said he was having a “good day,” was able to attend the event and enjoy everything from his peers’ performance to the Interact Club’s gifts to him to the sheer support he has in the Roxbury community. The goodwill for Matt Adonis even comes from beyond Roxbury; Hockey players in rival Randolph recently donated money to the boy - funds donated by a parent based on their performance on the ice.

“Achieving our goal in an understatement,” said Interact Club President Courtney Graf. “We had so many people that came, whether it was to volunteer, run in the race or both. The Color Fun Run was bigger and better than we expected.”