The following is a press release from Rook Coffee:
Rook Coffee is proud to announce that The Second Annual Rook Run on Sunday, October 11 raised over $175,000 to support The Valerie Fund, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing comprehensive healthcare for children with cancer and blood disorders.
The fundraising goal set this year for The Rook Run was $150,000. The First Annual Rook Run, on November 8, 2014, raised nearly $70,000 for The Valerie Fund, and saw approximately 1,100 registered runners.
This year's event welcomed over 3,000 people to the Great Lawn section of the Long Branch Boardwalk. A grand total of nearly 2,400 participants were registered for The Second Annual Rook Run, more than doubling last year's registrants.
"There is no better way to spend an Autumn day, than by helping this immense crowd have so much fun while doing some good for these kids who need every single dollar we've raised," said Joshua Ballard, Director of The Rook Run.
The Valerie Fund provides a complete level of care to more than 4,000 children and families affected by cancer and blood disorders each year at their centers, including The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center.
"The incredible outpouring of support from the local Rook Coffee community toward The Valerie Fund kids was extraordinary and so exhilarating," said Barry Kirschner, Executive Director of The Valerie Fund. "We are so proud to have such a great partner in Rook Coffee to help thousands of kids fighting cancer and blood disorders. To know this 5K is helping us fund a brand new palliative care program right in the community at Monmouth is simply incredible!"
Businesses supported The Rook Run through monetary sponsorships, donating goods and services as well as attending as vendors. Twenty businesses total attended The Rook Run Marketplace to support The Valerie Fund.
In addition to the marketplace, The Rook Run also offered a Kids Zone, which included an inflatable obstacle course, a temporary tattoo station and Strollo's Lighthouse Homemade Italian Ice. All registered runners this year received swag bags along with their race packets, and official Rook Run 2015 t-shirts.
"Today is a day everyone should feel proud, knowing that we helped kids fighting cancer in our own backyard," said Shawn Kingsley, Co-Founder/Owner of Rook Coffee. "The Rook Family is so thankful for the support and generosity of the people in our community!"
Immediately following the run, an awards ceremony took place at the amphitheater stage. Victor Vientos from New York, NY was the first male to cross the finish line (17:14.5), while Chelsea Bollerman from Little Silver, NJ was the first female across (18:00.0).