Prevent Child Abuse NY sponsored a 5K run/walk for Rockland Children Saturday morning that organizers hope will become an annual event.
More than 80 people ran or walked the 3.1 mile course at the event, which was held at Suffern’s Cherry Lane Elementary School.
“I think it went well,” said Renee Periera-Jersey, the race director. “We only started planning this at the end of April. We actually did it!”
Most of the proceeds went to Prevent Child Abuse NY; $5 of each race fee was given to the Children Advocacy Program of the Spirit of Rockland Center for special victims at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Periera-Jersey said she found Prevent Child Abuse NY online while looking for parenting information, and she became interested in connecting with them when she learned they sponsored walks.
“Their [Prevent Child Abuse NY] goal is to prevent child abuse before it happens,” she said. “So they support services for family members if they need help because they don’t know what to do or they’re having a hard time.
"They provide parenting classes. They provide any support really that parents need to keep their kids healthy and happy. Being a parent can be frustrating at times, so they provide services in that way. They also do advocacy in the legislature to get laws made to prevent child abuse.”
Periera-Jersey, her husband, and two of her five children enjoy running, so she asked the agency if she could create a running event. Saturday’s 5K was the first run the agency has sponsored.
“They did the registrations for us online,” she said. “They gave us all the brochures and stuff. We put it all together ourselves with the help of the community. People just donated so many things to help us out. It’s been pretty incredible.”
A Maserati, donated from Wild World of Cars, functioned as a pace car for the runners. Food and drinks were given out, and children were entertained by a baseball pitching game. Small vacations and gift cards to local businesses were some of the items raffled away after the run.
Also after the 5K run, a children’s run took place around the baseball field.
Runner James Galvin of Airmont said he ran because he wanted to support a local event.
“I think it’s for a good cause, and also for a sense of community,” he said. “It’s the first year they’re running this, and if no one shows up, it’s not going to be perpetuated. I think the community should come out and support it.”
Sarah Lieb traveled to the event from Westchester. She said the event was good for children because of the example it set for them.
“It’s a nice family event,” she said. “It’s a good cause, and running is healthy. They see everybody, and it’s a good role model for them.”
An overcast sky alleviated concerns regarding the heat, though it was still over 70 degrees and humid. Water tables were stationed at mile one and mile two of the race, and Tallman Fire Department donated their services to the event with a misting truck that sprayed participants with water.
Rachael Lewinson, an experienced runner, said she was going to run at her own comfortable pace.
“I just want to feel all right all the way through,” she said. “I took a few years away from it, and I’m just getting back into it.”
James Romano won the race with a time of 16:46. Terrence Galasso came in second with a time of 17:23, and Stuart Guild came in third place with a time of 17:28.
Awards were given to the three fastest males and females of each age group. In the 60 and over age group, Mike Pilar lead the way on the men’s side with a time of 43:58, while Bonnieben Pilar lead the women’s side with a time of 35:03. In the 50-59 age group, Mark Maidman and Theresa Thompson won with times of 24:17 and 24:21, respectively. Galvin ran the race in 21:56 while Laura DiMarino finished in 22:34 for the 40-49 age group. In the 30-39 age group, Steve Tretolu won in 23:26 while Natalie Thomas won in 24:37. In the 20-29 age group, Stuart was the men’s leader while Shelby Greany led the women with a time of 22:29. In the 13-19 age group, Galasso lead on the men’s side while Cari Durnion led the women’s side with a time of 27:52. For the 12 and under group, Hayden Kaplan finished first with a time of 32:54 while Tegan Jones finished in 41:21.