5K Walk and Family Fun Day
There couldn’t be a better day
For a run by the river for The Arc Gloucester 5K.
Background and Our Goal for Fundraising
The Arc Gloucester, is a non-profit organization in West Deptford. It was organized in 1950 to provide a safe place for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to contribute to the community by working, education, receiving therapy and care. Also, The Arc Gloucester provides needed support to families, 24/7.
The Arc Gloucester has outdone themselves, putting the Fun in fundraising!
June 3, 2023. 5K Walk and Family Day at Riverwinds
Riverwinds, a Community in West Deptford, NJ is located along the Delaware river. Tennis, golf, dining, swimming in the lovely pool, exercising in the fitness center, playing bridge, biking, walking and providing an inviting Community Center in which organizations can hold sporting events, such as a 5K Race.
What is a 5K race?
A 5K race is a popular race that is 3.1 miles in length. Some people walk, others jog and run . According to Runninglevel.com, the average time for a woman to run the 5K is 35.07 minutes and for a man 31.33 minutes. Teens and younger ages can also enter a 5K. We had several young people who ran.
More Fun Activities
For those who did not run, there were tables set up to sand paint and brush paint. The Arc Gloucester provided crafts, like sand sculpture and painting for all ages. There was a kiddie pool with rubber duckies, frogs and other little animals in it. Each animal was numbered and each number linked to a prize. One little girl won a gift certificate.
The first person I met was Leeann, from Swedesboro NJ. She wore a bright orange t-shirt with The Arc Gloucester emblem on the front. I asked how she is involved with The Arc Gloucester She smiled, and explained,” I have been involved with The Arc Gloucester since my daughter moved into one of The Arc Gloucester residences.”
Leanne told me that her daughter was born with a very rare genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome. It causes, among other things, severe speech and developmental symptoms. The Arc Gloucester helped her find a safe home where caregivers understand her daughter’s symptoms. She is grateful for the care her daughter receives.
I walked through Riverwinds main building, which houses the Community Center, Fitness Center and Senior Center. Directly across the center I saw all the activities. Lots of folks were preparing for the 5K race. A large arch shaped balloon display in orange white and yellow balloons, was being blown around by the winds from the Delaware River..
All ages gathered in front for a photo opportunity. Cold water bottles were handed out by Taresha, an Arc Gloucester employee, along the track for the runners, markers for route of the race, and a large time clock for all the contestants were set up. A whirlwind of people arranging hands-on activities.
An example of this is Taresha. Taresha works in Quality Control at The Arc Gloucester. She is volunteering her time to make sure that every runner on the track stays hydrated, by passing out cool water.
Caregivers cheerfully took those in wheelchairs to sign in at the registration table.
More and more people continued to arrive, some by car, van and other forms of transportation. The feeling in the crowd was of excitement. Participants warmed up for the 5K, and others found seats in the shade to watch the 5K. There was a general feeling of friendliness and enthusiasm in the air.
Jennifer Harrigan, Managing Director of Public Affairs, Marcie Hahn, Marketing Coordinator and Lisa Conley, CEO, The Arc Gloucester were there. Busily organizing last minute details. We last met at Camp Fun ‘N Sun, The Arc Gloucester camp in Williamstown, NJ for the Mystery Theater fundraiser.
Take Your Places!!
The runners took their places.
On your mark ! GET SET !go!
Off they ran! They disappeared down the embankment that winds down to the river and then back up around Riverwinds restaurant and the rest of the route. When complete, they returned to the finish line. They got their official time from the time keeper.
The walker group was next. Off they went!
The rest of us walked around in the crowd and mingled with others.
Getting to the Finish
We noticed the first runner cross the finish line. Their time was precisely 17.7 minutes. We clapped and cheered for him and each person after that.
A Few Who Ran
I talked to Estefan, from Millville, New Jersey. Estefan told me that he enjoys 5K races nearly every weekend. It keeps him in shape and going out to these different races is fun. Estefan is an Amazon driver. He placed 2nd in the 20-29 year old category.
Next, I spoke to Jess, a Vet Tech at an animal hospital in Haddonfield, NJ. She lives in Philadelphia. Her passion is running 5K races on weekends. Jess came in first in the 30 to 39 year old category.
Last, but not least, were friends who met in South Dakota at a 5K and have been friends ever since. The gal who placed first in the 40-49 year-old category has a lifetime goal of running in 5K races in all 50 states! She has 19 to go. This is her 31st State. Her friend placed third in the same category 40-49 years old. She lives in New Town Square, PA.
The races complete, winners are awarded their medals in each category; Ages 5-70. First, second and third place.
Time for lunch. Hoagies graciously donated by Heritages were handed out.
A large plate of cookies is placed out to share. A young man announces, “My Mom made these cookies!” He is wearing his The Arc Gloucester shirt and handing the yummy cookies out.
So we took our hoagies, beverages and delicious cookies, and sat down and ate.
I sat with Leanne and her lovely daughter. She saw cookies on my plate, and let me know she wanted one. I happily shared it with her. She happily ate it and we were all happy. Big sweet cookie grins.
The Finish to a Fulfilling Experience
What a wonderful experience, being at The Arc Gloucester’s 5K. If you want to support The Arc Gloucester go to www.thearcgloucester.org. You can find out how you can help.
This is a day to remember combining activities for all ages and capabilities, in a healthy way.
Thanks, The Arc Gloucester, outstanding work and play!!!
Moon Beiferman-Haines, BSN, CCIT