A big thank you to Kiersten Bartolotta for providing this story and photographs.
Over 80 families came together for a fun walk/run fundraiser last weekend in Sayville hosted by Walk To Run Fitness to collect toys for families suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
The event took place at 10 a.m. at the Islip Grange Park located on Broadway Avenue in Sayville. Over 150 people gathered and walked or ran a distance of 1 ½ miles to show their support for the many victims who lost so much on Long Island.
Each family brought a new unwrapped toy which was given to the Sayville Fire Department to be distributed to families who has been affected by this storm and need assistance during the holiday season.
Owner of Walk To Run Fitness, Kiersten Bartolotta was moved by the amount of people who participated in the event.
“I wanted to do something that would help these families who lost everything in the storm and make the holiday season a little easier for them. I couldn’t believe the amount of people who came out on this Saturday morning to be part of the event and brought so many toys for the victims.”
Sayville Fire Department generously volunteered to be part of the fundraiser. Volunteer firefighters came to cheer on the families as they crossed the finish line and collected the bags and bags of donated toys brought by the participants. The toys were loaded into a Sayville Fire Engine which was parked right at the finish line.
Local companies helped out with the event too. Starbucks in Sayville donated hot water for hot chocolate and cups. Volunteers served the hot chocolate with a dollop of whip cream as a special treat for the kids after the run. Sayville Falls Miniature Golf set up a tent, flags and cones for the finish line.
A local photograper, Samantha Ann of Samantha Ann Photography volunteered her time and expertise to photograph the entire event.
Bartolotta is thankful for all the help she received to make this event a success.
“We couldn’t have done it without the volunteers. We had 15 teenagers guiding the walkers and runners on the course and we had seven adult volunteers helping with everything else! I am so thankful to everyone for lending a hand to make this happen.”
By the end of the event, the participants had donated over one hundred toys. The donations will be distributed before the holidays to the many victims of Hurricane Sandy.