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.

Sign Up for E-News

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.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Democratic Committee Elects New Chair

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari won with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

Catanzaro Dining Hall at Saint Joseph High School, Metuchen

Friday Night Lenten Fish Fry

Food & Drink

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.


February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.


The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?



And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...