On Saturday, June 14 there will be a closed loop 5K held in Merwin Meadows to help raise funds in support of Anna Getner, a Wilton fourth grader fighting leukemia.
The 5K is being organized by John Schiaroli, who is engaged to Anna’s mom, Heather Iafrate.
“First and foremost it’s to help Anna and everything we’re doing financially. Help to grow her fund, to help with her medical expenses and care. That can be if we have to take a leave of work or we have extra bills, tutoring, you name it. The other part is to help create awareness with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” Schiaroli said, adding, “It’s also great just to get people out and be active.”
Registration is open and people can sign up online. Schiaroli is also hoping that other people would be willing to volunteer and help on race day. “We need people on the course to direct runners, help check-in. The more volunteers, the better—that’s what makes a great race.”
Anyone who wants to volunteer can contact Schiaroli by email. To find out more about the race and keep up with race news, he suggests people visit the race page on Facebook. “That’s where I’m communicating with people who have signed up.”
GOOD Morning Wilton is excited to announce that we are the media sponsor for the race.
The event is a USATF-sanctioned fast cross country race. The 5K course over a mix of road, trail and cross-country will start and finish at Merwin Meadows, and will also include a 1K walk. Schiaroli said the plan is for Anna to be there depending on how she feels, and that hopefully she’ll be able to take part with her friends in the 1K walk.
Anna is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Iafrate and Schiaroli keep people posted on Anna’s progress via their Facebook page and blog under the title, “821 for Anna–A Leukemia Journey,” which represents the 821 days doctors say her cancer treatment requires.
Schiaroli himself is an avid racer—he’s living with multiple sclerosis and running is one of the ways he stays healthy. Since 2010 when he did his first triathlon, he’s completed 16 of them, and he has also finished a few half-marathons and a half-ironman. It’s all part of why they wanted to hold the 5K for Anna.
“I like to stay active and be healthy. So for me, it’s fun to put an event on in the town where I live. There are so many wins, in my opinion,” he said.
One of the additional efforts being organized for the race is a collection of used sneakers by the Max Cure Foundation, a fundraising initiative that turns used sneakers into funds raised to fight pediatric cancer. Organizers are hoping to collect 821 pairs of sneakers as part of this side effort, in a symbolic gesture.