Despite the gloomy forecast, it did NOT rain on the 3rd Annual North Jersey Pride 5K and Kids Run last Sunday in Grove Park in South Orange.
“The Pride Month kickoff commenced Sunday with the 3rd annual North Jersey Pride Run,” said Prince. “The rain held off until the very last kids’ race, leaving 5K runners with perfect weather for the race, which began following a stirring rendition of the national anthem sung by Broadway performer Joanna Young Shubart.”
Race Director Melissa Commerchero, said, “The weather cooperated, the community showed up, and it was just a fantastic morning.”
Matthew Dreher of Maplewood finished first overall, and Taryn Ferrara of Morristown clinched first place for the women. The full results can be seen here. Race finishers were greeted with cold water and fresh fruit, donated by Ashley Marketplace of South Orange. Incredibly, over 90 kids participated in the kids races, and all received medals. There was a total of 240 5K registrants, though not all ran, said Prince.
“The Pride Run today really reflected the best of our New Jersey LGBTQ and ally community with participation across a wide range of groups—gay, straight, transgender, teens, seniors, singles, kids, parents pushing strollers,” said Prince. “One woman ran 30 weeks pregnant while her husband and three kids cheered her on from the sidelines. It was really moving to see so many people showing up to support equality and respect.”
New this year, all registrants were invited to a beautiful brunch buffet sponsored by Above Restaurant. “The management of Above did not even hesitate when we asked for their sponsorship. They really just wanted to give back to the community and support the cause,” said Prince.
North Jersey Pride’s other local business sponsors this year include realtors Fran Lichtman & Randy Rabney, The Able Baker, St. James Gate, Coda and Christine Coster of State Farm, as well as South Orange synagogue Congregation Beth El. Company sponsors include Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank, Premier Sponsor Atlantic Health System, and Unity Sponsors Maplecrest Lincoln Ford, Bayer and RMA of NJ. (For a list of all 2016 sponsors, click here.)
For a complete list of Pride Month events: https://www.northjerseypride.org/pride-month-events