Over 250 men, women, and children turned out on Sunday morning to run for the fourth annual Our Place 5K Run/Walk. Despite brutal winds and brisk temperatures, runners of all ages took to the blacktop at Floyd Bennett Field to raise money and show their support for Our Place.
The yearly race, sponsored by main event sponsor Gourmet Glatt, featured runners from 22 teams, including two teams fielded by Our Place youth, with separate races for men and women. Several hundred spectators braved the cold and enjoyed pizza, cotton candy, fresh popcorn, a bounce house, and music from Jewish DJ Jon Zar, while they cheered on their favorites and expressed their solidarity with Our Place, which has been providing teens with a safe haven, as well as counseling, guidance, and rehabilitation services, since 1998.
“The crowd came out in droves and we had a wonderful turnout in spite of the cold weather and 25-mile-per-hour winds,” said Our Place board member Yossi Yurowitz. “It was great to see both young and old showing their solidarity with Our Place.”
As in previous years, the race covered a magnificent three-mile course with scenic views, as well as Jaguar chip timing and professional race photography. The top two runners in the men’s division were both members of the Our Place Running Team, Yaakov Bressler and Moshe Bressler, who finished in 19:07:0 and 19:14:6 respectively, with the third-place finish going to Moshe Blau with a time of 20:57:1. The top three women runners were Leiba Rimler (23:27:0), Baila Miller (25:19:2), and Tova Max (25:39:5).
Donations continue to pour in for the race and the top fundraiser for the event was Our Place’s director of crisis intervention Zvi Gluck, who brought in over $17,000 in donations for the race. In addition to Gourmet Glatt, sponsors for the 5K included “gold corporate sponsors” Senior Care Emergency Medical Services, Omni Managed Health, Inc. and Investors Bank; “silver corporate sponsors” Marine Park Appliances, Edison Home Health Care, and the Multi Group of Companies; and “bronze corporate sponsors” Amusement Rentals by Junior, 5 Towns Jewish Times, Vos Iz Neias, and KosherCoaching.com.
“While the wind was blustery and the air freezing cold, the hearts and smiles on the faces of the runners and the activists were heartwarming,” said Our Place board member Chaskel Bennett. “Taking time out to run/walk for the kids of Our Place has become an annual event, and I am proud to show my support to this incredible organization that refuses to give up on any child.”
Our Place serves over 1,000 teens annually with two drop-in centers and the Living Room, a special program for young adults who are clean and sober. A gathering place for the at-risk community, Our Place serves nightly dinners and offers recreational programming with onsite therapists available at the drop-in centers. Our Place has volunteers ready to answer calls 24/7, offering support in cases of abuse, legal crisis, and other major issues.
“As always, we are humbled and overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm that we see at every event,” said Our Place executive director Rabbi Aryeh Young. “We hope that the public will continue to be there for Our Place so that we can continue offering vital services to the young adults who seek us out every day.”
To find out more about Our Place, visit www.OurPlaceNY.org.