Mini marathon funds pediatric, breast cancer research

Hundreds of boys and girls ages four through 16 put their best feet forward on Saturday, June 6 at the annual Dyker Heights Athletic Association and St. Bernadette Knights’ “Race for the Cure.”

The mini marathon, co-sponsored by Investors Bank, kicked off at St. Bernadette’s School and ran through the community, raising funds for both the Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation, a Brooklyn-based non-profit, and the Susan G. Komen organization.

“We’re just so appreciative to the Dyker Heights Athletic Association for all of their support,” said Enza Boccuzzi, co-founder of the Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation. She and her husband, Frank, founded the non-profit in November of 2012 in loving memory of their daughter, Olivia who – just before her third birthday – lost an 11-month battle with a PNET brainstem tumor. “It’s a cause that they have taken into their own hearts, and they are just so supportive of everything that we do.”

This year’s race, she said, was a special one.

“It was a beautiful day, and, this year, we were raising funds for both childhood cancer and breast cancer research,” Boccuzzi said. “Obviously, those are two devastating diseases that affect so many in our community, and it was really just beautiful to see the entire community come out and support a great cause. The children ran their hearts out.”

To date, the Olivia Boccuzzi Foundation has raised close to $175,000 for childhood cancer research though fundraisers, Boccuzzi says, have been bittersweet.

“Olivia is the center of why we do what we do, and that’s our goal – to continue to spread awareness and raise funds so that we can help other children that are diagnosed with this monster of a disease,” she said. “Olivia is living on in everyone who is inspired by her story and we know that she’s looking down on us, proud of her family and of everyone who has come together for the cause.”


First place winner Laura Rutigliano.
First place winner Laura Rutigliano.

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Arthur de Gaeta

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