UNION, NJ – It was a beautiful morning for runners, walkers, and spectators for the kick off of Union’s 9th Annual Mayor’s Day 5k Race at Union High School Sunday morning.

“We are excited for our ninth year,” said Union Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Masterson.  “When we started in 2011, we had 35 sponsors.  This year we have 70.  I am so grateful for this incredible growth.  I’d like to thank our runners, walkers, sponsors and volunteers.”  Masterson said there were about 250 runners/walkers in the event.

The proceeds from this year’s Mayor’s Day 5K will be donated to Dave Cuozzo, a 25-year Union Police Department veteran, in his fight against Transverse Myelitis.  Within hours of being rushed to Morristown Memorial Hospital five years ago, Cuozzo found himself paralyzed and fighting for his life. After weeks of isolation and tests, doctors diagnosed Cuozzo with Transverse Myelitis which causes inflammation and damage to the spinal cord. Transverse Myelitis interrupts the messages that the spinal cord sends throughout the body.  It causes pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems and organ dysfunction or failure.  

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“The support for myself and my family has been overwhelming,” said Cuozzo, who was accompanied by his family.  “I want to thank everyone.”

First place for the male division went to Union’s Jibran Absarulislam, 18, and the first female to cross the finish line was 13-year old Cassidy Kidd, a Burnet Middle School student.

“Thank you all for supporting Team Dave,” said State Senator Joseph Cryan.  “Dave’s story is one of a hero who needs our help now.  Thank you all.”

“I want to thank the runners and walkers who are out here today to support this very important event,” said Union Mayor Michele Delisfort before the race.  “I’d also like to thank our main sponsor, Shake A Paw and all of our co-sponsors.  I wish you all the best of luck.”


Editor's Note:  In the interest of transparency, TAPinto Union's owner/publisher, Kathy Cryan, is married to State Senator Joe Cryan.