Last year, hundreds of people turned out for the inaugural Circle of Care 5K:  Care to Run. For this year’s race, on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Merwin Meadows, weather permitting, the turnout promises to be even greater, with support from the community surpassing last year’s effort.

The race is being organized by Circle of Care, a Wilton-based non-profit that supports Connecticut children with cancer and their families during treatment. Oliver Tcakorov of New Canaan, who has been supported by Circle of Care through his treatment, will serve as honorary chair, joining race co-chairs Lisa Schneider and Kacky Theoharides, both of Wilton.

Nearly 200 people have already registered for the race, and proceeds will go directly to supporting local children in treatment for cancer. Organizers say there’s still time to register to run or walk the 5K. Day-of registration on Saturday, Oct. 1, begins at 7:30 a.m. with the race starting at 8:30 a.m..

For serious runners, the race is USTAF timed and is certified. Those who simply want to support children in treatment can join hundreds of others in rallying to show children how much Wilton cares. Registration and donations in support of the race can also be done on the Circle of Care website.

Northwestern Mutual NYC-Midtown is the race’s lead sponsor, with Advanced Radiology and Chase Bank sponsoring the Fun Run, and Wilton’s Blue Buffalo and the Stroup Family sponsoring the Water Station. Winged Monkey, Fleet Feet, Professional Physical Therapy, Realty Seven, First County Bank and Salon Santicello round out the major sponsors of the race. In addition, Studio Santicello’s Team Santino, based out of Stamford, has earned the honor of the top fundraising team with just under $5000 in donations.

Cancer is truly something that touches every community:  according to Circle of Care, there are over 500 children in treatment for cancer in Connecticut, and on average, we live within 10 miles of a child in treatment. Circle of Care supports children with cancer in Connecticut during their treatment, which can last as long as 2-3 years, contributing to as many as 70-percent of families experiencing a financial crisis during treatment and needing help.

“Timed to cap off Childhood Cancer Awareness month, this is a true community-wide event, with teams from all over Fairfield County organizing to run to show children with cancer how much they care,” said Liz Salguero, president and co-founder of Circle of Care. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from Wilton families and businesses. Our programs directly support local children with cancer during treatment, so this not only will be a fun race, but it will also have a direct impact on the children and families we serve.”

Modest cash prizes will be awarded for the timed and USATF-Certified race. 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.