Ready to Raise More than $1,000,000 for the 5th Consecutive Year
Over 4,000 walkers and runners will meet at Verona Park on June 11, 2016 to support children with cancer and blood disorders
[Maplewood, NJ]- More than 13,000 supporters of The Valerie Fund were invited recently through a state-wide mailing campaign to register for the 2016 Valerie Fund Walk & JAG Physical Therapy 5K Run. The event will take place on Saturday, June 11th in Verona Park, a magnificent setting for a celebration of children in our community with cancer and blood disorders. To learn more about the event and to register for the certified 5K race and the Walk, go to www.thevaleriefund.org/walk or call The Valerie Fund offices at 973-761-0422. Since 2006, the nonprofit organization's premier fundraiser has grown steadily---in attendance, number of donations and sponsorship participation. On June 11th, more than 4,000 people are expected to again join several hundred Valerie Fund patients and families in recognition of their courage and to spread awareness of pediatric cancers and blood disorders.
Beginning in September, the month designated as Sickle Cell Awareness and Childhood Cancer Awareness, The Valerie Fund has been promoting their Red & Gold Campaign, the colors of Sickle Cell (red) and Pediatric Cancer (gold) awareness. Dozens of mayors across the state issued proclamations and made presentations in honor of the children of The Valerie Fund. The Campaign focuses on town-wide fundraising initiatives and encourages community members to "paint" New Jersey red and gold. Go to www.thevaleriefund.org/walk to view a map charting the progress of the campaign.
The Valerie Fund addresses the most immediate needs of patients and families whose lives are suddenly and dramatically upended. Core services provide emotional, practical and financial support complementing state-of-the art medical treatment at seven Valerie Fund Children's Centers located in New Jersey, New York and metropolitan Philadelphia. The hallmark of The Valerie Fund services ensures that families and hospitals do not have to rely on insurance reimbursements to receive the range of support of a multi-disciplinary team including a staff of social workers, psychologists, child life specialists and educational liaisons. More than 4,000 children with cancer and blood disorders are treated annually---a network that is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Sponsorships continue to be the foundation of the Walk/5K Run's success as well as the grass roots efforts of hundreds of Walk Captains and their teams. Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing says, "The individuals and businesses donating to the Walk have made it a priority to support the communities in which their employees live and work. We applaud their commitment and willingness to give back and take great pride in sharing some of the major sponsor's names: Atlantic Health, Barnabas Health, Burger King U.S. Trust, Wakefern Food Corp. and the Inserra, Saker and Village ShopRite Families and JAG Physical Therapy, underwriter of the 5K Run."
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Flanders cites the 5K Run as a perfect example of the event's evolution into a community-wide happening. "In the earlier years, the race attracted fewer than one hundred participants. A decade later, thanks to increased publicity particularly by area running clubs, one thousand runners signed up for USA Track & Field sanctioned event," she recounts. Media support is provided by WCBS-TV 2 HD, WCBS 880, Outfront Media and The Star-Ledger who donate on air public service announcements, radio spots, billboards and full page ads. Local sponsors will provide complimentary food and beverages and entertainment will include carnival activities, live music, and face painting.
After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer, Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive superior medical care. Along with a group of close friends, they began fundraising efforts from their living room---tireless work that would lead to the 1977 opening of New Jersey's first pediatric oncology facility at Summit Overlook's Hospital. Forty years later, The Valerie Fund's mission remains that of supporting comprehensive health care for children battling cancer and blood disorders.