ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. announced Friday, April 13, that Essex County was participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the St. Barnabas Medical Center’s NICU and RWJBarnabas Health. DiVincenzo is inviting the public to come out and support the worthy causes of each organization; participants from each event will receive reduced admission to the South Mountain Recreation Complex on the day of their respective fundraising events. Participants must bring their race bib or proof of registration to receive the discount.
“Each of these well-respected organizations does a great deal to make a positive difference in and improve the quality of life for our residents. I invite the public to run, walk, golf or donate to help out these really great causes,” DiVincenzo said. “To say thank you to these organizations and the thousands of people who support them, we are offering reduced admission to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari for the people who participate in these events.”
The Arc of Essex County’s 20th annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, Family Walk and Fun Fest will be Saturday, April 28, at the Clipper Pavilion in the South Mountain Recreation Complex. The Arc of Essex County provides supportive services for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. For information and registration, visit www.runorwalk.org.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Essex County. This is a special year for us because not only is our Building Tomorrows event celebrating its 20th anniversary, but our organization is celebrating our 70th anniversary,” said Nancy Byrne, director of communications for The Arc.
The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis will be Saturday, May 5, at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. The Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. For more information, visit www.walktocurearthritis.org/newjersey.
“We are so honored the foundation is part of the county executive’s initiative. We are looking forward to having our event in the Clipper Pavilion for the first time,” Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Karen Drzik said.
The Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run will be Saturday, June 9, in Verona Park. Proceeds will be used to support the comprehensive care of children with cancer and blood disorders. For more information on the Walk or 5K Run, visit www.TheValerieFund.org. A new special feature this year is refreshments provided by a variety of food trucks.
“Without the support of Essex County, we couldn’t have a successful event. Verona Park is an incredibly beautiful place,” Valerie Fund Executive Director Barry Kirschner said, adding the event has raised approximately $6 million in the last six years.
The Nikhil Badlani Foundation will present the Stop for Nikhil 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, Sept. 16, at West Orange High School, 51 Conforti Ave. The 5K run is sanctioned by USATFNJ Grand Prix. The foundation is named for 11-year-old Nikhil Badlani, who was killed in a car accident in 2011 when the driver failed to stop at a stop sign. Its mission is to enhance the lives of children through music lessons, scholarships for graduating high school seniors, and traffic safety awareness and education. For more information, visit www.nikhilbadlanifoundation.org.
“We are facing a public health crisis. Traffic accidents are all preventable deaths. We are working hard to prevent these tragedies from happening through awareness and education,” NBF Executive Director Sangeeta Badlani said.
The New Jersey Children’s Alliance will present the Heroes for Children 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Clipper Pavilion in the South Mountain Recreation Complex. The event will promote public awareness about child abuse issues and increase knowledge about the services of local children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams and the difference these services make in a child’s life. For more information, visit www.njcainc.org/heroes-for-children.
“Our mission is to provide abused and neglected children with access to child advocacy centers where they can get help and support. These centers give children hope. We ask that you consider putting your super powers to work to help children,” said Mary Beth Weil from the NJ Children’s Alliance.
The 18th annual Miracle Walk to benefit the Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be Sunday, Oct. 7, in Verona Park. The walk features family-friendly activities, refreshments and entertainment including a DJ, face painters, balloon artists, characters and more. Proceeds help the medical center purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the NICU, which provides specialized care for New Jersey’s smallest and sickest babies. Some patients spend the first several months of their lives under constant care in the NICU. For more information, visit miraclewalk.com or call 973-322-4305.
“This cause is near and dear to my heart because my daughter is celebrating her 18th birthday this year because of the care and attention she received at the NICU. The facility treats over 1,000 newborns a year,” Miracle Walk founder Hayley Hirschmann said.
The American Cancer Society will present its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Prudential Center in Newark. The walk helps raise awareness and funds to save lives from breast cancer. The event brings people together to make a difference for everyone who has been touched by breast cancer, raises money to fund innovative research, provides free information and support, and helps people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.
“I am honored to have been a participant of this event and now as an organizer. Last year we had over 20,000 walkers who are passionate and energized to help our cause. This event is so much larger than just a walk. It brings hope to women and their families,” American Cancer Society community development manager Yakima Deloatch said.
The second Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk will be Sunday, Oct. 21, at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. Proceeds will be used to raise awareness and support prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. For more information on the Heart Walk, visit www.greaterNNJheartwalk.org.
“Many people live with some sort of cardiovascular disease or health problem. We can take charge of our health by taking control of our lifestyles,” Melissa Alonso from the American Heart Association said.
RWJBarnabas Health and the New Jersey Devils are teaming up to support the health of New Jersey’s diverse population with the Running with the Devils 5K Run and Family Fun Walk. Proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services at RWJBarnabas Health’s 11 hospital facilities as well as hospice initiatives. This event, featuring a 5K USATF certified race and a family fun walk, brings together participants from across the state. The day will feature special appearances by the New Jersey Devils mascot and street team, medals for all participants, awards and more.
“Both the NJ Devils and RWJBarnabas Health believe promoting a healthy, active lifestyle supports the health of our diverse population. What better place to have an event than where walkers and runners can see the animals in Turtle Back Zoo and the picturesque views of South Mountain Reservation,” RWJBarnabas Health Senior Vice President Justin Edelman said.