ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. announced April 8 that the county is participating in 11 special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the 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, RWJBarnabas Health, St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
With this partnership, those who participate in the planned events to support these organizations will receive reduced admission to the South Mountain Recreation Complex on the day of their respective fundraising events.
“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 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 events included in this partnership are:
- The Arc of Essex County’s Annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, Family Walk and Fun Fest will be Saturday, April 27, at the Clipper Pavilion in South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with the 5K beginning at 9 a.m., the family walk at 10:15 a.m. and Fun Fest at 10:30 a.m. 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 partner with Essex County once again and raise awareness for the 1,500 citizens with developmental disabilities that we provide support and assistance to on an annual basis,” said Nancy Byrne, director of communications for The Arc of Essex County.
- Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event and will be held Saturday, May 11, with registration at 10 a.m. and the walk beginning at 11 a.m., in Verona Park in Verona. The mission of the foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and raise awareness about this rare, genetic, life-shortening disease that makes it difficult to breathe and shortens lives. Registration is free, but walkers are encouraged to raise funds. For more information, visit www.fightcf.cff.org.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. It was very devastating news when our son was diagnosed with CF, but then we were linked with the foundation and found there was hope,” said Jodi Squires, whose son Sean is now 21-years-old.
- The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis will be Sunday, June 2, beginning at 9 a.m. at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. 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.arthritis.org.
“Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, including in children. Our supporters really look forward to our event because after the walk, they stay at the complex and make a day of it,” said Emily Meyers, development director for the Arthritis Foundation.
- The Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run will be Saturday, June 8, in Verona Park in Verona. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with the 5K race beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m. Proceeds will be used to support the comprehensive care of children with cancer and blood disorders. For more information, visit www.TheValerieFund.org/Walk2019/.
“From the personal grief of Ed and Sue Goldstein, who lost their daughter Valerie to cancer, they became change makers. Today the Valerie Fund treats over 6,000 children with cancer and blood disorders a year,” said Bunny Flanders, director of marketing and communications for The Valerie Fund.
- The Nikhil Badlani Foundation will present the STOP for Nikhil 5K Run/3K Walk on Sunday, Sept. 15, at West Orange High School, 51 Conforti Ave. The 5K run is sanctioned by USATFNJ Grand Prix. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with a ceremony at 8:45 a.m., the 5K run at 9:30 a.m. and the 3K walk at 9:45 p.m. 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. For more information, visit www.nikhilbadlanifoundation.org.
“On our roads, more than 40,000 people over the last three years have died in car crashes. When planes crash there are public inquiries, but you don’t hear about that for vehicle accidents. These auto fatalities can be avoided and education is the most effective means,” said Sangeeta Badlani of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation.
- The New Jersey Children’s Alliance will present the Heroes for Children 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 9 a.m. at the Clipper Pavilion in South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. 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.
“Children can heal from their trauma and adults can go on to great things — they just need the proper support and child advocacy centers have proven to be effective places,” said Mary Beth Weil from the NJ Children’s Alliance.
- The St. Jude Walk/Run to benefit St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital will be Saturday, Sept. 28, in Cedar Grove Park. The research hospital freely shares the discoveries it achieves and families are not charged when they are admitted to the hospital. The event features a walk and run as well as vendor tables; the time of the event has not yet been announced. For more information visit www.stjude.org/walkrun.
“I’m here because my grandson, who is now 7-years-old, benefited from St. Jude’s. Our goal is to raise awareness about childhood cancers and offer hope to children and their families,” said Terry Rogers, a volunteer with the St. Jude Walk/Run.
- The 19th annual Miracle Walk to benefit the Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will be Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 a.m. in Verona Park. The walk features family-friendly activities, refreshments and entertainment, including a DJ, face painters, balloon artists, characters and more. For more information, visit miraclewalk.com or call 973-322-4320.
- The American Cancer Society will present its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Prudential Center in Newark. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the walk commencing at 10 a.m. For information, visit www.MakingStridesWalk.org/NewarkNJ.
“Making Strides is more than just a walk, it is a movement that provides hope,” said Yakima Deloatch, development manager with the American Cancer Society.
- The third annual Greater Northern NJ Heart Walk will be Sunday, Oct. 20, at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds will be used to raise awareness and support prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“Heart disease and stroke affects all of us. We want to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives,” said Judith Friedland of the American Heart Association.
- 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 on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 8 a.m. at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. Proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services at RWJBarnabas Health’s 11 hospital facilities as well as hospice initiatives. This event features a 5K USATF certified race and a family fun walk. The day will feature special appearances by the New Jersey Devils mascot and street team, medals for all participants, awards and more.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this again and spotlight the state’s most comprehensive health care system,” said Justin Edelman, senior vice president of corporate partnerships with RWJBarnabas Health.
Participants in these events can receive reduced admission to Turtle Back Zoo, Codey Arena and the miniGOLF Safari in West Orange on event days; participants must bring their race bib or proof of registration to receive the discount.