Giving Back

Letters to the Editor

Thanks for a Great Pizza Run

More than 2,200 runners participated in the Pizza Run Credits: Ron Ostroff

Thanks to Everyone for a Great Pizza Run!

The 15th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, held on July 27, 2016, was a huge success. Organized by Downtown Westfield Corporation, the event was sponsored by many generous community partners and attracted over 2,200 runners and over 6,000 spectators.

While there were runners from all over New Jersey and nine other states, a little over one-third of them were from Westfield. The annual “Pizza Run” takes many months to plan and would not be possible without the help of key people, volunteers, generous sponsors and a gracious business and residential community.

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On behalf of the entire Downtown Westfield Corporation Board of Directors, I would like to extend a special thank you to the dedicated DWC staff: Sherry Cronin, Executive Director; Beth Brenner, Asst. Executive Director; Jamie Lemberg, Website Manager; and Jackson DuMont, DWC Summer Intern.

Thanks to Meg Mehorter and Sophie Randazzo who coordinated over 100 volunteers for the event. The race was directed by Mark Zenobia of On Your Mark Productions and staff with setup and equipment by Ray Smith and Tears Smith of and computer scoring by

This year Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield became the Presenting Sponsor of the event.  

As the Presenting Sponsor, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield staff was on hand to introduce their new OMNIA Health Plans, led the race as well as handed out the awards.

Present at the event were also returning Platinum Sponsor Trinitas. Trinitas Regional Medical Center and their staff of award winning publication Edge was on hand to lead the race and to distribute runners’ awards.

Stop & Shop of Westfield, in addition to becoming a Gold Sponsor & Finish Line Sponsor for 2016, went above and beyond by providing many product donations needed for the race.  Members of the store were also on hand to provide goodies, such as fresh fruit and cookies right from their bakery, and graciously donated all of the water, soda and paper products for the runners. Stop & Shop has been an active participant in many community events and activities including silver sponsorship of the Pizza Run for many years.

The Silver Sponsors this year included returning sponsors Overlook Medical Center, UBS as well as newcomer Northeast Planning Corporation.

Bronze Sponsors were Barnabas Health Medical Group; Chill Cryotherapy; Drew & Rogers; Elizabethtown Gas; Hehl & Hehl; JAG Physical Therapy; Kessler Rehabilitation Center; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper; PSE&G; Shop Rite in Garwood; Skoda Contracting; Spencer Savings Bank; Summit Medical Group; Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera, Sodono; Weichert, Realtors; Westfield Braces; Westfield Pediatric Dental Group; and Westfield Running Company.

Vine Ripe Markets was a Contributing Sponsor for this year’s event.

In honor of this being the 15th Annual Pizza Run, downtown businesses donated random prizes. Thanks to Ahrre’s, AT&T, Beauty Plus Salon, Juxtapose Gallery, Learning Express, Lisa Black, Esq., Lord &Taylor, Mindfulness for Kids, POE Yoga, RStudio Lash Spa, Satsang Yoga, Sweetwaters Steakhouse, Valencia School of Music, and Woof Gang Bakery. Some stores also offered special in-store discounts during the Pizza Run, including Ahrre’s, Beauty Plus Salon, Fiamma, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Johari, POE Yoga, RStudio Lash Spa, and Woof Gang Bakery.

We would also like thank Valencia School of Music for providing one of their students to sing the national anthem before the race!

The DWC provided 5,000 slices of pizza purchased at discounted prices from Casa di Pizza, Cosimo’s, and Ferraro’s. As an annual tradition, the Westfield Jaycees distributed all of that pizza to the hungry runners. We also had members of the Westfield Area Y, Westfield Area Chinese American Association, Keller Williams Realty, Weichert, Realtors, and 100+ other volunteers who assisted us with setting up, cleaning up, running water stops on the race route, and serving as a course marshal. We cannot thank them enough for volunteering for the race would not have ran as smoothly without their assistance. The top female finishers were given floral bouquets by the DWC and goodie bags from POE Yoga.

We also would like to thank the town of Westfield for partnering with us on this event for a night of running, fun and pizza. Mayor Andy Skibitsky interviewed many runners to be aired on TV36. Entertainment was provided by the ever-popular Michael Craig Band & FOG and DJ Night Moves. Photos were taken by Ron Ostroff.

The Westfield Police Department assisted with street closings and volunteer course marshal assignments. The Westfield Fire Department hosed down the runners and The Westfield Rescue Squad, with assistance from Scotch Plains and Fanwood Rescue Squads, was on hand to provide medical care if needed.

Jackson Dumont, Jordan Sheft-Ason, Chris Prasek, Josh Capistrano and Daniel Cronin were constantly on their feet from setting up for the race, delivering pizza and assisting The Department of Public Works with cleaning up. The Westfield Department of Public Works was a great help in providing equipment, assistance during the event, and trash disposal.

Thanks to all the runners and everyone else who helped make the Pizza Run so successful!  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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