Inaugural Share NJ 5K Walk/Run to Take Place June 12th in New Providence; 5K Promotes Organ Donation and Honors Those Who Have Saved Lives Through Their Donations
Elizabeth A. Leonard
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – On Sunday, June 12th, the New Providence Business and Professional Association (NPBPA) will host its fifth New Providence 5K Run. But this year, the event will mark the beginning of a special collaboration between the NPBPA and the NJ Sharing Network and has been renamed The Share NJ 5K Walk/Run, Race to Save Lives Through Organ and Tissue Donation.
The event will begin with registration and packet pick up at the NJ Sharing Network Headquarters located at 691 Central Avenue in New Providence at 7:45 AM. The race will begin at 10:00 AM, and the route will continue through Central Avenue and across South Street and finish back at the NJ Sharing Network Parking Lot. A complete route map is available on the Event Home Page through the NJ Sharing Network website, listed below.
For those who do not wish to run the entire 5K, there will be a shorter, one mile Fun Run, beginning at 9:00 AM. There will also be 50 yard Sprout Sprints for participants three years old or younger at 11:00, and a Final Goodbye Program held at 11:30.
In addition to the race, families can also enjoy the Family Fun Day that the NJ Sharing Network and the NPBPA have planned, fully equipped with bouncing rides for the kids, a popcorn machine, cotton candy machine and various other games. A DJ will also be playing throughout the morning’s activities.
The NJ Sharing Network, a non-profit organ procurement organization, is presenting its inaugural 5K Walk/Run in order to promote, educate and raise awareness about organ donation among the people of New Jersey. The heartfelt mission for this event is to, “Walk or run in honor of those who gave, on behalf of those who received, and with hope for those who continue to wait for an organ or tissue transplant.” The fundraising goal for this event is $400K, and about three quarters of this amount has been raised so far.
Sharing Network Foundation Executive Director, Elisse Glennon, is looking forward to the event that she describes as, “a special day for donor families and recipients to share their legacy that has lived on.” As Ms. Glennon explained, among the almost 3000 registered participants, 150 of which are teenagers, many are donor recipients. Some are living donors. Others are loved ones who will come out to honor those whose organ donations have saved lives.
On the day of the event a board will be available for participants to write the names of the people who they would like to honor by walking or running. Many of the registered participants have already begun to share these names, however, on the event page. One such family¸ will be celebrating the life of their 13 year old son, Romeo VanBuskirk. June 12thwill mark the one year anniversary of his death, and his parents have found comfort in being able to “turn that tragic anniversary into a celebration of his life and the lives he saved.” Their team, the Romeo Delta Force, has rented a bus for all those planning to run in Romeo’s honor, and they have raised almost half of the goal of $10,000 which they set for themselves.
Another team, Team Kevin Gilbert, has raised over $10,000 in honor of Kevin Gilbert, a senior at Hunterdon Central High School. June 12thwill mark the three month anniversary of his death, and over one hundred people will be participating to honor his memory.
Many others are sharing their stories and helping to promote organ donation by participating in this Walk/Run. The day will bring many loved ones together in memory of those they have lost. It will also be an opportunity for so many people whose lives have been impacted by organ donation to come together and share their stories.
What promises to be a very moving and special event has gathered support from the town of New Providence and the Police Department as well. Local businesses and several volunteers have also come together to prepare for this event and will help on the day of. Prestige Diner, a premier member of the NPBPA according to Peter Rovtar, NPBPA Secretary, for example, is donating a great deal of the food and water for the event.
Registration for the Share NJ 5K Walk/Run is only $30 and will be open online until Wednesday, June 8that the event homepage: http://sharenj.donorpages.com/5KWalkRun2011/ You will find information on the website for creating a team, raising funds and sharing a bit about why you are participating in the Walk/Run. A link is also available on the site through which you can register to become an organ donor.
Registration will also be open on the day of the event, beginning at 7:45 AM. So even if you miss the June 8thcut-off date, you can still come out for this great event to help save lives and honor the individuals who have saved lives through their donations.