UNION, NJ – More than 275 runners and walkers took to the track Sunday morning for the Mayor’s Day 5k and Kid’s Run event, sponsored by Union’s Chamber of Commerce.

A portion of the proceeds of the event are earmarked to help defray the medical expenses of a local family, the Lacerda’s, who experienced a major trauma when Mike Lacerda, husband and father, suffered an aneurysm followed by three strokes in May, 2016.

Michael had immediate surgery and spent two days on life support.  He spent 41 days in the Neuro ICU.  He was transferred to the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange where he spent another 35 days, until his rehabilitation benefits were exhausted.

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According to Chrissy, Michael has short term memory loss, balance and coordination issues.  He can walk slowly, but does not have a lot of endurance.  He has cognitive and memory deficits.  He cannot work.  He cannot drive.  He lost hearing in his right ear.  “But, he has the best attitude around,” says Chrissy.

“The Township of Union has been absolutely wonderful to my family,” said Chrisie Lacerda.  “We really appreciate everyone coming out today.”

“A township family will be benefitting from today’s event,” said Union Mayor Suzette Cavadas.  “I’m wearing the ‘Team Mike’ shirt for Mike Lacerda today.  Everyone here is doing a great thing today – giving back to a family here in town.”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Masterson said the event keeps growing every year.  "Last year we had 57 sponsors," he said.  "This year we have 72.  We are so happy to run this event and to help a very deserving family."

“It’s great to be out here again,” said Deputy Mayor Joseph Florio.  “It’s a little warm this morning, but it’s a great crowd and a great charity for a family that needs some help.”

Overall winners of the 5K event:


1st Place           Travis Boscia, 26, of Union

2nd Place          Matthew Lubiak, 46, of South Orange

3rd Place          Gerard Rokosz, 17, of Union


1st Place           Akua Boakye, 37, of Linden

2nd Place          Daneliz Urena, 12, of Union

3rd Place          Danielle Zieser, 34, of Union

Age group winners:

Ages 1 – 13, Male:

1st Place           Orlando Guzman, Jr., 11, of Union

2nd Place          Todd Francis, 11, of Union

3rd Place          Aiden Cross, 9, of Union

Ages 1 – 13, Female:

1st Place           Katrina Duffy, 11, of Union

2nd Place          Caitlin Duffy, 11, of Union

3rd Place          Aubri Benaquista, 11, of New Providence

Ages 14 – 19, Male:

1st Place           Deryk Ng, 17, of Union

2nd Place          Jibran Absarulislam, 16, of Union

3rd Place          Joseph Veliakath, 19, of Union

Ages 14 – 19, Female:

1st Place           Alyssa Weeks, 16, of Union

2nd Place          Felicity Winter, 15, of Springfield

3rd Place          Phylicia Menendez, 16, of Union

Ages 20 – 29, Male:

1st Place           Angelo Geronimo, 20, of Union

2nd Place          Joshua Muller, 25, of Irvington

3rd Place          Muta Mashack, 25, of Newark

Ages 20 – 29, Female:

1st Place           Kayla Woolridge, 23, of Union

2nd Place          Geri Kunnath, 26, of Union

3rd Place          Shary Carbone, 22, of Newark

Ages 30 – 39, Male:

1st Place           Vivek Kalola, 34, of Piscataway

2nd Place          Shaf Q, 36, of Jersey City

3rd Place          Joel Calderon, 36, of Union

Ages 30 – 39, Female:

1st Place           Kalshehael Lloyd, 39, of Rahway

2nd Place          Alide Gaona, 33, of Union

3rd Place          Hayley Guerra, 32, of Matawan

Ages 40 – 49, Male:

1st Place           Jose Hernandez, 43, of Union

2nd Place          Leyland Bentham, 40, of Union

3rd Place          Roman Yedokov, 47, of Chatham

Ages 40 – 49, Female:

1st Place           Martha Baisch, 45, of Madison

2nd Place          Emma Atanasio, 43, of Springfield

3rd Place          Allison DiMarzio, 42, of Millstone Township

Ages 50 – 59, Male:

1st Place           Robert Willsea, 50, of Madison

2nd Place          Bill McGrath, 56, of Union

3rd Place          Norberto Cobo, 50, of Union

Ages 50 – 59, Female:

1st Place           Lubelia Lopes, 55, of Union

2nd Place          Laura Rokosz, 54, of Union

3rd Place          Marie Arnold, 52, of Union

Ages 60 – 69, Male:

1st Place           Doug Hansen, 63, of Union

2nd Place          Michael Albanese, 63, of Union

3rd Place          Enrique Tocol, 64, of Union

Ages 60 – 69, Female:

1st Place           Kim Eason, 60, of Union

2nd Place          Alice Jacob, 60, of Union

Ages 70 – 99, Male:

1st Place           Joseph Apuzzio, 70, of Union

2nd Place          Richard VanDoran, 72, of Branchburg

3rd Place          Jonathan Rod, 71, of Union