SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Like so many other activities and events, the Achieve Foundation’s fall fundraiser is going virtual this year. Fans of the annual Newstead 5K — as well as those who have taken up walking and running during the quarantine time — are invited to participate in the 2020 INstead Virtual 5K Race during the weekend of Sept. 25 to 27.
More than 500 runners and walkers of all ages are expected to participate in the fun and family-friendly event that has become a marker of the new school year in South Orange and Maplewood. This year’s race is like the “old” Newstead 5K, but with a twist: It will be fully virtual. Choose your day, time and route. Several route suggestions through picturesque SOMA neighborhoods are posted on the race registration page. Or run your favorite 5K route right from your front door.
Despite the race being virtual, Achieve has real fundraising goals and invites everyone to participate. Registration for runners/walkers is now open at www.achievefoundation.org/instead5k. Registration is only $25 per person through Sept. 20, at which point the fee will go up to $35. Registrants will receive one of Achieve’s popular dry wick race T-shirts while supplies last. Participants will be given the option to create a personal fundraising page as well as to register multiple family members when they sign up, and since this is a virtual race, you can even include long-distance friends and family on your team.
Achieve is partnering with presenting sponsor, the South Orange-Maplewood Education Association, and has early sponsorship commitments from The Able Baker and D&I Fitness, long-time Newstead 5K supporters. Additional sponsorships are available at several levels. In addition to being featured on Achieve’s website and monthly newsletter, sponsors receive community exposure by getting their names or logos on the popular race T-shirts and the race registration site. Sponsors are asked to pledge their support for the race by Sept. 1 in order to have their name or logo included on the T-shirts.
The race typically raises between $30,000 and $35,000 annually to underwrite initiatives that foster equal educational opportunities for all students in the South Orange–Maplewood School District, and inspire educators to bring innovative practices to the classroom — programs like Achieve’s signature volunteer tutor program, educator grants, a Chromebook lending library at Columbia High School, hotspots for use during distance learning, STEAM education and more.
Seasoned race Director Mutlu Bascillar welcomes new Co-chairperson Katy Walmsley to help helm this annual event.