lululemons' Garden State Plaza team hosted a 5K run through the Duck Pond at Saddle Brook Park in Paramus with proceeds going to benefit Oasis - haven for women and children in Paterson, NJ. Oasis provides basic needs (like food and clothing), social services, adult education, and so much more. Oasis helps empower hundreds of women and children every year. Their mission is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need.... and trust us, there is a HUGE need.
The lululemon team of volunteers and ambassadors arrived early worked quickly to set up an incredible event with an amazing atmosphere. Having covered fundraisers and community based benefits in the northern NJ area for over a decade I can state with confidence, this was one of the best I have seen.
Regarding the amazing atmosphere created around this event look to the details. Items not normally associated with a 5K such as fresh flowers and candles, provided an innovative touch.
There were a handful of sponsors mostly from other stores that operate within the Garden State Plaza. Dunkin provided coffee and donuts. lululemon merchandise was available for purchase as well.
Of course there was the race itself as well. About 100 participants, which is a good number for a first time event of this type. That number is sure to grow year over year due to how nice the first one played out as relates to community and connections.
Congratulations to the first place runners, male and female. I resist the standard urge to label them the "winners" as there were so many "winners" at this event. As most runners realize the challenge at a 5K is not from the other runners but mostly from within. And so many people from such diverse backgrounds brought many different personal challenges.
Let's take a closer look at some of the personal challenges that runners brought with them on this fine fall day. Keep in mind that anyone you see at any time may be facing a huge challenge that we know nothing about. Kimberly Bradley lost her stepson in a tragic car accident less than a month prior to race day. Somehow she showed up with her trainer / coach and ran her race.
All in all a fantastic, well run, inspirational event hosted by your Garden State Plaza lululemon team. Building and bonding within the community while helping to raise funds for and awareness of an eminently worthy cause.
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