The importance of giving back to others in need sparked the efforts of the P.S. 102 track team to organize a 5K Fun Run/Walk event at the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge on Saturday, May 30.
A $100 mini-grant was the seed money for the event, with the students deciding to donate what they raised to WaterAid, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to bring clean water to areas of the world where it is lacking. To get the event off the ground, the students even walked around to local businesses to ask for donations.
“It was cool because you actually know that you’re doing something beneficial to other people, so when you get the whole neighborhood involved, they too can feel that they are important in our society,” said Farah Osman, age 11, of the team’s executive committee, who also recognized the help of Physical Education teachers Angela Stornaiuolo and Eva Lurie to obtain a sound permit, design t-shirts and rent out the pier for the event.
Medals were awarded for the first 10 runners who finished the course, which spanned 3.1 miles and had a turn-around, with the start and finish line one and the same.
“It was very tiring, but you actually just have to push yourself and once you know that you’re almost done, you have that special willpower to keep going,” said Osman, who mentioned that future events could consist of raffles with gift cards donated by local businesses with proceeds going to other charities, but loved what came out of this event.
“Brooklyn is really a very important society in which I feel like we really all come together as part of something,” said Osman. “We love each other and we have this really strong bond which cannot be broken. We just like to express that bond and show people all around the world just what we’re doing. Maybe they will get inspired.”
Stornaiuolo was also astonished at her students’ hard work, which resulted in roughly 200 participants and a little over $3,000 raised for WaterAid.
“We were actually really satisfied with how it all came out. Everybody was really supportive, so overall for our first year, it went really well,” said Stornaiuolo. “We were fortunate to have a lot of teachers, parents and volunteers to help us out with registration and set-up, so we’re feeling very lucky about that.”