This September 12, hundreds of people will join children with cancer and their families from around the state in the inaugural Circle of Care 5K:  Care to Run. Like Circle of Care, which was started and is based in Wilton but serves the entire state of CT, the 5K will be a community-wide event held here in town, with teams from all over Fairfield County organizing to run and raise funds for children with cancer and to show them how much the community cares.

“Local support for people with cancer is as critical a resource as funding for a cure is. We are walking alongside people who are in treatment today because how you get through it is equally as important as getting through it,” says Liz Salguero, the founder and board president of Circle of Care.

Circle of Care provides direct emotional and financial support to families facing pediatric cancer in Connecticut. Organizers say the 5K will rally community support for children with cancer in a positive way that breaks with stereotypes, enable Circle of Care to build awareness of what they do and how they support families.

GOOD Morning Wilton is honored to be the media sponsor for the event. The lead corporate sponsors who are making the event possible are Northwestern Mutual, Gault and Winged Monkey. Blue Buffalo is sponsoring the Kids’ Fun Run.

The race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 starting in Merwin Meadows (Lover’s Ln.). Check-in/registration begins at 7:30 a.m.; a Kids’ Fun Run begins at 8:10 a.m. and the Race to Care 5K will start at 8:30 a.m.

Online registration has begun at the race website. Registration is just $25 per person or $10 for a child doing the Fun Run, with all funds going to Circle of Care’s programs that directly impact children with cancer in our community. Runners that raise $250 or more will have their registration fee refunded on race day.

Modest cash prizes will be awarded for the race, which will be timed and USATF Certified. There will be prizes for Best Team Spirit and Best Fundraiser as well as cash prizes of $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for the third place runner.

There are student teams currently forming in each grade at Wilton High School. The three WHS seniors organizing the student efforts are Grace Kelleher, Tori Baggio and Caroline Higgins, who have all been involved as prior volunteers with Circle of Care. They will also be selling spirit wear.

“It’s inspiring to see that young people are so enthusiastic about getting involved,” Salguero said.

The event is being chaired by John Schiaroli, an avid runner and Wilton resident, who has previously run and organized successful races. He organized last year’s 821 5K Run/Walk for Anna on behalf of his stepdaughter, Anna Getner, a Wilton 5th grader who was diagnosed with leukemia less than two years ago.

“At a time when you have to be stronger that you ever thought possible for your child and family, the Circle of Care has been there to help us and so other many families on their journey. The family at COC has not only offered support in so many ways, but they gave Anna a gift of a room make over which changed her life in ways that words cannot express. This year we are putting on the race again, but now with the new members of our family; The Circle of Care; so we can help them with the means to help more families like ours,” Schiaroli said in a statement.

Organizers also mentioned that they are in need of lots of volunteers. Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer or considering sponsorship can contact the Circle of Care via email.