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Strong Local Support Ensures Success For The 7th Annual Race for Literacy

5K Race supports the work of the Brooke Jackman Foundation

About 300 people from Long Island and beyond took part in the 7th Annual Brooke Jackman Foundation (BJF) Race for Literacy on May 19. The event is the kickoff for the Annual Health Fair sponsored by NYS Senator Carl Marcellino and the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce. Medals for the race were presented in a ceremony on the Town of Oyster Bay Showmobile on Audrey Avenue. It’s a great event that gets a great deal of support from the local community as well as the local runners of all ages who participate.

Erin Jackman, BJF executive director, credited much of the success of the event to local people who support the Race for Literacy, “Thank you to our amazing race committee, without whom this race wouldn’t have been possible: Michael DelColle, Stephen Gourley, Erin Murcott, Andrea Peck, Jennifer Iles, Rosemarie Licameli, Lynn Keating and Mario Baldino.  Their help, along with the support of all of our hardworking volunteers, ensured that the race was a complete success.”

Families began gathering at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School shortly after 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, to partake in the crafts and games offered for children.  For these young ones who are still on their way to running a 5K, a ¼ Mile Fun Run for Future Olympians tested their speed and endurance.

Ms.  Jackman said, “As the race kicked off the main event, the sun was on our side as it warmed the air and the spirits of the runners and walkers who took on the challenge of the 3.1-mile course along the scenic roads of Oyster Bay, Mill Neck and Upper Brookville. Jonathan Wetzel from Niskayuna, NY, took home first place for the men with an impressive time of 16:30 minutes, while Alexis Kushner of NYC took the top spot for the women with a time of 22:22 minutes. 

Justin Nakrin of Oyster Bay came in second with 17:22; Ngoy Francis Kalombo of East Norwich was third with 19:59:410; Chris Roerden came in with 19:59:893; Jack Sherbal of Oyster Bay, 20:57; E.J. Madden, 21:33; John Pace of East Norwich, 21:34; Bob Bartolotti of Oyster Bay, 22:02; Jeffrey Greene of Bayville, 22:06; Alex Gelbert of Oyster Bay, 22:15; Aubri Juhasz of Oyster Bay, 22:26; William Jones of Oyster Bay, 22:26; Louis Gelabert, 22:40; Greg Chabina of Oyster Bay, 24:27; Fred Roerden of Oyster Bay, 23:43 came in 25th.  

Another one of the racers was Lee Perrotta, who residents may know as The Chocolate Lady of Oyster Bay. Her boutique shop is on Audrey Avenue. In the race, she clocked in at 26:10, showing that eating chocolate is healthy.

“With all of your help, this year’s Race for Literacy was the biggest and best yet. The Race for Literacy provides such an excellent platform to raise awareness for children’s literacy and ensure that New York-area children receive the education assistance that they need.

“A huge round of applause goes to our top fundraisers for the race: Hanna Tepper and family; Gillian Tepper; Lauren Caspi; Gracie Lafaire; Jack Salomon; and Iris Jackman.

“In addition to each of the participants of this year’s Race for Literacy, we’d like to give a special thank you to the following sponsors that helped make the Race for Literacy possible.” The sponsors include:

AcuPort Acupuncture, Air Stream Foods, All About Kids, Allstate - Jeannine Izzo Agency, Bagel Boss Cafe of East Norwich, Bi County Mailing, Blake and Elle, Bonanza Ices, the Borgia family, Charlotte Rogato, Creative Composition, the Delahanty family, Evo Sport, the Friedman family, Gooseberry Grove Ice Cream, Hanna Tepper and family, the Heinemann family, the Herrey family, the Houmann family, the Luneburg family, Michael L. Friedman, the Old Brookville PBA, Party with ESP, Pumpkin Pie Foundation, Richard Dimino, RSM McGladrey, the Shemano Group, and the Steinberg family.

Ms. Jackman added. “Our announcer, Terry Bisogno, did an outstanding job as the man on the microphone.

“Last, but definitely not least, thank you to Senator Marcellino, Kathy Wilson, his communications director and the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce who sponsor the annual Health Fair which is a contributing part of the success of this day,” she said.