On Saturday, May 4th, make a difference not only in yourself, but in the community, at The Franklin 5K (formerly called Run for Bob). All ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. What began as a way to honor the life and spirit of Bob Biagiotti, a member of the Hockomock Area YMCA who passed away unexpectedly, has evolved into an event celebrating children of all abilities – through this amazing 5K race.
Since she started the event 9 years ago, Kris Biagiotti has afforded local children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs and activities that would not have been offered otherwise. In a fashion similar to Dick and Rick Hoyt, who were honored at the 2012 Hockomock Area YMCA Legends Ball, Kris has participated in road races pushing her daughter Kayla in a stroller modified for her disabilities. Kayla enjoys it, and Kris can give back to local charities whose events they attend, including The Franklin 5K.
Since 2005, this 5K event has raised $75,000 for the Hockomock Area YMCA Reach Out for Youth and Families financial assistance program and the YMCA’s Integration Initiative. This Initiative at the Y began in 2004 to allow children with special needs to participate alongside their typically developing peers in social and recreational programs and activities. “Since its inception, the integration program has become a fabric of the Y culture,” says Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA. “Anyone who walks through our doors is welcomed, no matter their ability or financial circumstance, in all of our programs and activities.”
Over 500 families have been positively impacted. In 2012, the Y hired its first full time Association Director of Integration. As summer approaches, more children than ever will enroll in New Horizons, the Y’s fully inclusive camp setting offered in Franklin, Foxboro, and North Attleboro.
Kris and Kayla, “The K Girls”, have a story which parallels Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father son team known for their enduring spirit, teamwork and commitment to individuals with special needs and disabilities. At a Hockomock Area YMCA event this past July at the TPC Boston, Dick Hoyt spoke to the youth of the Initiative. “Through efforts such as the Integration Initiative, disabled children will be afforded access to participate in athletic programs and activities.” Continued Hoyt, “The Hockomock Area YMCA is to be commended for creating such a wonderful program for the youth in the communities it serves.”
When you come out on Saturday, May 4 at 10am, you will help to improve social skills, build self-esteem, increase physical activity and independence, and enhance mutual respect among people of all abilities.
Location for the event is Marsh & McLellan Companies, 431 Washington Street, in Franklin. The event will include kids’ activities, touch-a-truck, refreshments, silent auction, raffle, music, and more. Day of registration begins at 9am.
Register today by visiting www.hockymca.org. Those who register prior to April 27 will be given a free dry-fit shirt. The cost is $25 through April 26 and will increase to $30 afterwards.
Medals will be awarded to the top 3 men’s and women’s finishers from several age categories and all participants will receive a finisher medal.
The event is presented by Iron Mountain. To find out more about the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Reach Out for Youth and Families program, Integration Initiative, or THE FRANKLIN 5K RUN • WALK • ROLL, contact Michael Bordonaro at 508.643.5225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.