Brooklyn, NY – In a continued effort to provide vital services to hundreds of Jewish teens at risk annually, Our Place is holding a 5K run on Sunday, March 25th in order to raise desperately needed funds so that they can continue to offer counseling, rehabilitation and support to troubled youths.
The race, which kicks off at 9 AM for men and 10 AM for women, will take place in Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennet Field, part of the Gateway National Recreation area and will feature musical entertainment by DeScribe.
Our Place hopes to raise $85,000 at Sunday’s race and is expecting over five hundred runners and walkers to take part in the event which is sponsored by United Realty Partners, Omni Managed Health, Senior Care Emergency Medical Services, Vos Iz Neias, Edison Home Health Care, Kedem Royal Wineries and Weekly Link.
“Financially we are definitely improved from last year but we are still day to day,” Our Place Director of Development Yoni Rhodes told VIN News. “We had to do some serious cost cutting, eliminating certain programs and the consequences have been dire. Kids have lost their lives because of those measures.”
In fact, a sobering page on the Our Place website entitled “The Wall” lists the names of eighteen names, a partial listing of Our Place kids whose lives were tragically cut short, a harsh reminder of what takes place right within our own community.
“I have done too many taharas and attended too many funerals of youth that should have been saved over the last few years,” said noted community activist and board member Zvi Gluck. “When Klal Yisroel doesn’t step up to save those who need it, we all suffer. These boys and girls have been through so much, and we need to be there for them. Our Place has saved thousands of lives and continues to do so every day. I am proud to be a part of the Our Place family. All are welcome to join our family and be a part of this great mitzvah.”
“We have had tremendous happiness and success at Our Place, but we have had so much sadness as well,” added Rhodes. “Not only do we hope to reopen programs with proper funding, but unfortunately, there is a need for expansion. There are not just dozens or hundreds of kids who in crisis, there are thousands, not only in New York, but all over the world. We need to admit that the Jewish community has a problem with teens at risk and once we do that, we can begin to implement a solution.”
Numerous politicians are expected including Senator Charles Schumer, City Council Member David Greenfield, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein as well as Assemblyman Dov Hikind who plans on racing in the event.
“I may be doing more walking and running than trotting,” Hikind told VIN News. “But I will take part in this event because of Our Place and what they represent. I have been involved in helping them for fifteen years. I love these kids. They are our kids. They come to my Shabbos table, they eat with us. We all have to help and do our part.”
This is the first USATF certified run ever to take place at Floyd Benner Field, which offers scenic views of Manhattan and the Atlantic Ocean. The race will feature Jaguar chip timing, professional race photography, awards for the top three runners in each group, medals for all those who complete the course and free t-shirts for the first two hundred and fifty participants.