Two Naugatuck residents are organizing a 5K to honor the memories of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting and to raise money for a fund set up for families involved.
Matt Marcella and Katie Blake of Naugatuck are co-founders of the event. And the Hartford Marathon Foundation has donated its resources to host the Sandy Hook Run for the Families 5K Run/Walk and Kids Run on Saturday, March 23 in downtown Danbury. All of the money raised from registration fees will go toward The Sandy Hook School Support Fund administered by the United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank.
“We are runners and thought a lot of people would be interested in a 5K to support Newtown,” Blake said. “We were overwhelmed by the positive response and are happy to have turned the event over to the Hartford Marathon Foundation to organize so thousands can join us to honor Newtown.”
The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a Kids Run for children ages 2-to-11 to participate in half-mile or one-mile distance runs (parents are welcome to run with their children). The 5K Run/Walk will begin after the completion of the Kids Run. Runners and walkers of all abilities and families with strollers are welcome (please observe start location requests). Supporters of runners or walkers not wishing to participate may also purchase race shirts in advance or on site, and fund donations fund will be accepted. A special tribute to first responders will take place.
For those who would like to participate in the race but are unable to attend in-person, the Hartford Marathon Foundation has set up a “Virtual Runner” registration. From any location, registered participants will receive race T-shirts and bibs and are encouraged to gather teams to show their support.
“Here in Connecticut and around the world, we are all looking for ways to show our support and somehow make a positive contribution,” said Beth Shluger, founder of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “We’ve seen how family run/walk events can truly motivate a great sense of camaraderie and we’re honored to produce this event to help everyone show their support for the families of Sandy Hook, the first responders and the entire community of Newtown."
Events will be organized in downtown Danbury, a location that can safely hold the thousands expected to attend. On-site run/walk registration will allow for 10,000 participants, virtual runner registration is unlimited. See details on course routes, start and finish lines, parking and traffic impact as available on www.facebook.com/hmfevents
To register for the Sandy Hook Run for the Families, please visit HartfordMarathon.com.
About the Hartford Marathon Foundation
The Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to create and manage fitness events that inspire people to be healthy and fit. Located in Glastonbury, Connecticut, the Hartford Marathon Foundation organizes nearly 42 annual athletic events, including the ING Hartford Marathon, and 25 training programs. For more information, visit www.HartfordMarathon.com and on Facebook at HMF Events.
Note: The above information comes from a news release submitted to local media.