By Joseph Zapata
The ninth annual Marcie Mazzola Memorial 5K Walk/Run will once again keep a young woman’s memory alive while helping those in need of a boost.
The Marcie Mazzola Foundation’s event will be hosted by the Huntington YMCA Sunday, April 12, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The foundation was named after Commack’s Marcie Mazzola, who died in a car accident in 2002 at age 21. Right before Marcie’s passing, she was involved in a civil lawsuit against a school bus driver accused of sexually abusing Marcie 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 hopes to improve the lives of abused and at-risk children.
“Marcie was a very happy, joyful, outgoing person. Even though she had gone through several difficult situations in her life, you would never know it,” said Nancy Mazzola, Marcie’s stepmother and president of the Marcie Mazzola Foundation.
All proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Marcie Mazzola Foundation’s Butterfly Strokes Program, the Summer Camp Scholarship Program at the Huntington YMCA, and the Family Service League’s Children’s Program. The Butterfly Strokes Program is meant to teach abused or at-risk kids about swimming and water safety.
“[The Butterfly Strokes Program] also helps the children to trust and gain confidence while gaining camaraderie with friends,” Mazzola said.
The entry fee for the 5K race is $30 for adults and $20 for students. Check-in time is from 6:45-8 a.m. at the Huntington YMCA, located at 60 Main St. 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.
“[The 5K race] is not about being somber or sad; it’s about enjoying and appreciating life,” Nancy Mazzola said.
For more information about the event, visit marciemazzolafoundation.org.