By Andrew Wroblewski
The 10th annual Marcie Mazzola Memorial 5K Walk/Run will kick off from the Huntington YMCA (60 Main St., Huntington) at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 10. As always, the event works to keep a young woman’s memory alive while helping those in need of a boost.
The foundation is named after Marcie Mazzola, of Commack, who died in a car accident in 2002 when she was 21 years old. Before her death, Marcie was involved in a civil lawsuit against a school bus driver accused of sexually abusing her when she was 11 years old. Even with Marcie no longer able to testify, her family and attorney pressed on, and eventually won the case.
The Mazzola family decided to establish the Marcie Mazzola Foundation in 2003 in hopes to improve the lives of abused and at-risk children. The 5K was incorporated into the foundation several years later, said Nancy Mazzola, Marcie’s stepmother and foundation president.
“Everything that we do is bittersweet,” Mazzola said on Monday. “We try to do everything passionately and positively, just the way that Marcie did.”
Mazzola added that the 10-year anniversary of 5K is “just amazing.”
All proceeds from this year’s 5K will go toward establishing YMCA summer camp scholarships for underprivileged children in the Town of Huntington, Mazzola said.
“Our foundation has had a relationship with the YMCA for 10 years and has dedicated funds from each race to the Y,” she said.
Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $900,000, including more than $150,000 for the YMCA. Its mission, Mazzola said, is to “help better the lives of abused and at-risk children; and increase community advocacy and awareness about the needs of children.”
Entry fees are now $30 for adults and $20 for students who are in 12th grade or under. Cost for the kids fun run, which is a non-competitive event held on the grounds of the Huntington YMCA for kids ages 10 and under, is $10.
Check-in time is from 6:45-8 a.m. at the Huntington YMCA. No numbers will be issued past 8 a.m.
The 5K starts at the Huntington YMCA, moves south down Woodhull Road, then north on Spring Road past Main Street to Prime Avenue and finishes by taking Madison Street to Sabbath Day Path back to the YMCA on Main Street.
There will also be food, beverages and a gift raffle, and the winner of the race will be rewarded with a trophy and a one-year paid membership to the Huntington YMCA.
For more information, visit Mmarciemazzolafoundation.org.