A crowd of runners, walkers, sponsors, family and friends were up bright and early Sunday morning to take part in the Friedberg Jewish Community Center’s 5K Run for a Cause for Parkinson’s Disease at Baldwin Park. Close to 100 race participants, aged 7 through 96, came out to support the JCC’s mission of being inclusive, community focused, and providing a space for everyone no matter their abilities.
Gloria Lebeaux, Friedberg JCC’s director of social services, welcomed everyone to the event, saying “Friedberg JCC has been a premier provider of Parkinson’s services on the South Shore of Long Island since 2018. What began with a single discussion group is now a comprehensive suite of fitness, support, education and counseling services.”
Lebeaux then introduced Joanne Moore, one of the Friedberg JCC’s most active PD participants, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s during the first year of the pandemic.
Feeling isolated and alone, Moore researched as much as she could online about the disease, but quickly found it overwhelming. “The backyard and Friedberg JCC’s PD programs got me through the first couple of years of my diagnosis, and they continue to support me through this Parkinson’s journey,” she said.
The Friedberg JCC’s Parkinson’s programs span different topics, like brain health, cultural enrichment, fitness classes and support groups. All designed to help people express themselves, gain valuable tools and resources and make the most of their abilities, which were in full display, on the sunny, summer-like race day.
The overall 5K male winner was Tyler Paige, a 15-year-old sophomore student at Lynbrook High School, who is a member of the Track & Field and Cross-Country teams. While Jodi Brodsky took the overall female title, running in the 40 to 49 age category and Sarah Paige, a 7-years-old who was the youngest runner, won in the under 10 category. The oldest participant was 96-year-old walker Berg Jablon.
Roni Kleinman, the Friedberg JCC’s executive director thanked everyone at the awards ceremony following the race, saying, “It takes a lot of energy, innovation and resources to provide high-quality programs and we deeply appreciate the support of our generous sponsors, and Board members, who made today’s event possible.”