ROXBURY, NJ – Two charity events at Horseshoe Lake on Sunday brought hundreds together for a sunny day of altruism and fun.
The 6th Annual Color Fun Run hosted by Roxbury Rotary Club and Roxbury High School’s Interact Club started the day, followed by Vet Fest NJ, a music and food truck festival that raised money to benefit homeless veterans.
This year’s recipients of proceeds from the Color Run were Roxbury firefighter and business owner Jeffery Poissant - who is fighting prostate cancer - and the family of Nicole Coleman, a local mother who died from brain cancer last November.
Approximately 420 runners raised $10,426 for the two families, according to Interact Club President Courtney Graf.
“Seeing everyone show up, it makes you think that people really care,” said Shaday Gibson, Coleman’s daughter. “People are going to be there for you even when you don’t expect it. To see you guys all pull together as a community really means a lot for our family.”
Dozens of local business donated shirts, color powder, food and more. Lukoil, Jersey Mike’s, Valley Pharmacy & Surgical Supply Center, Fullerton Grounds Maintenance, Tim Smith and Family, PJ's Auto Body and Infinity Entertainment were among the sponsors.
After the Color Fun Run, Vet Fest NJ began across the park, an event being promoted by Roxbury resident Richard Goldberg to raise money for Community Hope’s “Hope for Veterans” program. Six rock cover bands took the stage throughout the day as 10 food trucks served hundreds of fans.
“I get to do these events and, in Roxbury, it’s not a question of who’s going to turn up to help,” said Roxbury Mayor Robert DeFilippo. “It’s ‘how can I, and what more can I do.’ And that’s what makes Roxbury a great place.”
The annual Color Fun Run has so far raised a total of $77,000 for local families. Mike Corrente, Joey Clayton, and Matthew Adonis have all been recipients of the proceeds raised in past years.
“Year after year, you guys have come back stronger and have been able to help families more and more, and I am so thankful for that,” said Kayla Corrente, daughter of Mike Corrente. “Roxbury truly does thrive on helping others.
The Color Fun Run isn’t just meaningful to the beneficiaries – it also brings together the Roxbury community at the beginning of the season.
“It’s definitely a kickoff of summer,” said Graf. “Last year, the weather was horrible in the morning, but people still showed up, because Roxbury shows up, no matter what. It’s just what our community is – we’re like a family. It’s what we are.”
Electrical problems delayed the start of the inaugural VetFest NJ. Circuit breakers in the Horseshoe Lake fairgrounds pavilion were unable to handle the load of the equipment. Eventually, more heavy-duty breakers were installed and the music flowed, the lines for the food trucks grew and the skies – despite forecasts calling for storms all day – remained blue into the evening.