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A festive 5K for Santa and friends

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Dozens of runners dressed as Santa Claus and other festive winter characters as they raced throughout Eisenhower Park and East Meadow for the League of YES’s third annual Santacon 5k Run, Walk and Roll on Dec. 1.

The festivities began with a 5K at 9 a.m., followed by a Walk and Roll at 10 a.m. and a costume contest judging most original, best costume and best group costume. To show more holiday spirit, the event ran in conjunction with the League of YES’s annual Toy Drive.

Race participants enjoyed hot chocolate and snacks after braving the winter cold for a cause. The Forest Hills-based League of YES hosts programs to allow people of all disabilities to play baseball.

In 2006, Kristine Fitzpatrick, founder and executive director of the League of YES, started serving on the executive board of the Westchester chapter of The Miracle League, an organization with a similar goal.

She served on the board until 2009 and she developed such a strong passion for the program that she decided to bring it to Long Island.

Fitzpatrick researched information and invited friends and associates to form the first Miracle League of Long Island in Brookhaven, which had a handicapped accessible field and no programs regularly using it.

The League grew from 30 players to more than 150 and drew over 1,000 volunteers from the first game in 2010 to the last game of the 2014 season.

The league grew at a significant pace and, in 2015, expanded into the League of YES, creating more programs and hosting games on a second field.