Run 4 Life raises funds for nonprofit

Corporate Drive was flooded with runners, walkers and supporters for the annual Run 4 Life 5K race.

With the latest tunes playing in the courtyard of Corporate Drive, DJ Ian Querze kept the participants moving their feet, running to their favorite tunes on Thursday, Sept. 14. Barnum Financial Group and Scinto, along with family and friends, competed in the annual Run 4 Life 5K run/walk.

Over 70 registered people participated as the sun was setting and the rain stayed away; it was humid but that didn’t stop anyone. If people weren’t running, they were walking and all for a good cause.

The purpose of the race was to help raise money for the non-profit organization Foundation 4 Life. The organization uses its money in various ways, that includes donations made recently to St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services, Hartford’s Camp Courant, and Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut. It was from the annual Bowl-a-Thon back in July that they were able to give a part of the proceeds to the Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut.

In addition, they have a program called Bikes for Kids. Each year, a ceremony is held at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets and bikes are given out.

Bikes for kids became part of the foundation back in 2007, when Paul Blanco was introduced to the organization by his colleagues and founders of the organization, Bill and

Debbie Pollakov. Since then, over 2,500 bikes and helmets have been given away. The goal is to help kids have freedom and fun to explore their neighborhoods and to keep them healthy.

“This year, we had a really good turnout,” said Stephanie Zapata, coordinator of the Run 4 Life race. “Last year, we raised over $3,000, and this year we hope to beat that goal.”

Foundation 4 Life has held different events in order to raise money for their cause that included a Bowl-A-Thon, golf tournaments, art activities, and much more.

This organization was originally created by Mindy and Paul Blanco. It was their daughter who did the runs and created the 5K walk/run. Each year, the family participates in the run, but were unable to this year.

“It’s amazing to see how many people came out to run. Many came right after work,” said race participant Betsey Grisloud.

The race route extended from Research Dr., Commerce Dr., Progress Dr., and ended on Corporate Dr.

The overall top winners from the race included: Martin Nocera of Stamford, Piotr Kostyk of Bethel, Peter Brandt of  New Haven, Jordan Zinn of Plainville, and Joseph Voet of Milford. Prizes were awarded to the top male and female runners along with age-group prizes for the top runner in each of the following categories: 18-and-under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+.

Sponsors for the event included: Barnum Financial Group, RD Scinto, Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut, Nationwide, SMG Corporate Services, People’s United Bank, Two Roads Brewing Company, and Greenwich Medical Spa.

For more information on the results  visit the webpage

The organization’s next event will be a mini-golf tournament held on Oct. 5 at the tennis courts at Scinto Towers in Shelton. Family foursomes will be from 4-5 p.m. and the tournament, which is the main event, will start at 5 p.m. For more information visit the organization’s Facebook,