ROXBURY, NJ – It's time to sign up for this year’s Roxbury High School Interact Club Color Fun Run, and there’s a good reason to do it soon: A free T-shirt that will guarantee your status as someone unafraid of being doused with colored cornstarch in the name of charity.
Only the first 400 registrants will get a shirt, warned Roxbury Rotary Club President Steve Alford.
This year’s event, the club’s third, will take place June 19 at 9 a.m. at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna. It costs $25 to participate and tickets are being sold online.
The event will raise money to help two Roxbury families with young people fighting diseases: The Salazars and the Ventolas.
Mia Salazar, a 15-year-old graduate of Eisenhower Middle School now attending Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, is fighting cancer. She is the daughter of Liz and Mark Salazar, a Succasunna couple that lost a toddler to cancer about a decade ago.
An online fundraiser, launched about two months ago, has raised nearly $40,000 to help the family.
Francesca Ventola, the 6-year-old daughter of James and Allison Ventola, has a genetic blood disorder called Thalassemia Major, or Cooley’s Anemia.
“She has been getting major blood transfusions every two to three weeks since she was six weeks old, and will continue to get them for the rest of her life unless a cure is found,” according to the Interact Club. “The disease, if uncured, can cause delayed growth, bone problems, liver and gall bladder abnormalities, heart problems, diabetes and many more problems, which is why it is important we raise money now so she can hopefully be cured as a child.”
The first Color Fun Run raised about $15,000 for the Corrente family of Roxbury. Michael Corrente, a volunteer wrestling coach and father of three, died two years ago due to brain cancer.
The second Color Fun Run raised about $17,000 to help the parents of Joey Clayton, a boy with an inoperable brain tumor. Despite the best efforts of his parents and doctors, Joey died in February at eight years old.
At the Color Fun Run, participants run or walk a course of about three miles and are pelted with colored cornstarch as they pass stations set up along the way. There will be music, free food, ice cream, face painting, a Zumba instructor and more.