On your mark. Get set. Go!
Join the 1,959 individuals already signed up for the Share NJ 5K Race, set for Sunday, June 10, and run or walk in honor of those who have lost their lives, and in celebration of those whose lives have been saved through organ and tissue donation.
The second annual race, presented by Pfizer and hosted in conjunction with the New Providence Business and Professional Association, will feature a runner’s competition at 9 a.m., a fun walk/run at 10 a.m. and the kiddie sprints at 11 a.m.
“The Share NJ 5K Walk/Run will be an occasion to celebrate life, honor the legacy of those who gave the ultimate gift, and raise awareness of the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor,” says Joe Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network.
More than 6,000 participants are expected at this year’s event to help support organ and tissue donation and transplantation, with a goal of raising $650,000, said Alyssa D'Addio, NJ Sharing Network Education and Partnerships Coordinator. To date, more than $300,000 has already been raised and 218 teams are now registered to participate.
Last year’s inaugural race attracted more than 4,000 participants, including transplant recipients, donor families, volunteers, children and sponsors, inspired by NJ Sharing Network’s mission. Those individuals helped raise more than $450,000 to support services for organ donor families and educational initiatives offered through NJ Sharing Network.
“This event was more than just a race or fun walk. It was more meaningful than I ever thought possible,” said E. Denise Peoples, a double lung transplant recipient who participated in the inaugural event last year. “I was moved to tears by absolute strangers who care about this cause as much as I do. I can’t wait to be a part of this year’s event.”
At last Monday’s New Providence Council meeting, D’Addio thanked the Council and the New Providence Business and Professional Association for their partnership for this event.
“Currently, there are [more than] 110,000 people waiting in the United States for a life-saving transplant so your support is really important because you’re helping us raise awareness that people registering as an organ and tissue donor [could save lives],” D’Addio said. “We just want to thank you guys and encourage all New Providence residents to come to this race and help us promote organ and tissue donation.”
D’Addio said about 5,000 New Jersey residents are also waiting for life-saving transplants so this event will give the community an opportunity to help those in need and raise funds for further organ and tissue donation education throughout the state.
Joseph Steiner, owner of Organization Resources and a consultant for the NPBPA, thanked New Providence Police and Fire Departments, the Rescue Squad, and the borough administration for their assistance in making arrangements for this upcoming run/walk.
“This is no small undertaking when you look at the number of people we’re talking about and the number of officers who will be needed,” Steiner said. “It’s quite an event and without the assistance of the folks from the borough, we wouldn’t be able to pull this off.”
Councilman Armand Galluccio said he attended the 5K last year and thought the NJ Sharing Network did “a phenomenal job.”
“It was a beautiful day, everyone seemed to have a good time and I know you raised a lot of money,” Galluccio said. “And I have to admit, up until then, I was not an organ donor and that pushed me over the edge and I became an organ donor. I’d like to encourage everyone to become an organ donor.”
To participate in the Share NJ 5K, there is a $25 participant registration fee and participants are encouraged to form teams to help fundraise for this worthy, life-saving cause.
The Share NJ 5K Walk/Run will kick off at NJ Sharing Network’s Headquarters, 691 Central Avenue in New Providence (exit 142 off the Garden State Parkway).
Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. Music, refreshments and activities for all ages will be a part of the day’s events. Winners will be awarded at the ending ceremony, and teams who have raised money in support of Organ Donation and awareness will be recognized.
To register for the event, please visit www.ShareNJ5K.org or contact Alli Keleman at (908) 516-5696 for more information.