WESTFIELD, NJ — The fifth annual Greta’s Run 5K will be held on April 22 at Roosevelt Intermediate School at 11 a.m. The 5K is a fundraiser for participants of all ages and abilities to help raise money for people with special and adaptive needs in the Westfield area.

The event is held in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School student who died in September 2002 after a large tree branch fell on her during lunch. Schoenemann’s childhood friends, Jayne Ruotolo and Ben Nanna, founded Greta's Run in 2013 to continue the charity work Greta was doing for people with special needs.

In honor of Schoenemann’s sister Elise, who has cerebral palsy, all proceeds from Greta’s Run benefit people with special and adaptive needs through the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation in Westfield.

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“It’s how we remember our friend, bring our community together, raise money for people with special and adaptive needs and give these folks an event to compete in, too,” Ben Nanna, co-founder and director of the race, said.

Greta’s Run aims to be accessible. The event encourages everyone to walk, run or roll to the finish line to help raise money and awareness.The 5K is classified as a 501c3 volunteer-led nonprofit.

In the past, participants have traveled from all over the country to take part in Greta’s Run. There will be awards and prizes for those who participate. Volunteers will be present for course assistance if needed.

“It’s a hometown-feeling race, with over 1,000 of our friends, family and neighbors supporting the cause,” Nana said. “It's been one of the largest 5Ks in the area since the first year, which is an incredible testament to Greta’s legacy and the supportive community we've grown up in.”

To register for the 5K or to make a donation, visit the Greta Run website. The registration fee is $30.


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