On an overcast and chilly spring morning, 20 members of Team NYSC-West Caldwell were among thousands of runners who turned out for the annual Long Branch (NJ) Half Marathon on Sunday. The team’s motivation? Raising thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) through its Team In Training program.
The LLS is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. More than 823,000 Americans today are battling these diseases, which include leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and myeloma.
Over the past 20 years, Team In Training (TNT) has grown into an unparalleled sports training program—helping athletes of all abilities train for success while helping the LLS raise funds. More than a half a million runners, walkers, triathletes, cyclists, hikers, and first timers to seasoned athletes, have trained with TNT. The participants have raised over $1.2 billion to fund lifesaving cancer research.
The local Team NYSC, made up of staff and members of the New York Sports Clubs location in West Caldwell, had been in training for the Long Branch event since January. In addition to the goal of completing the half marathon, Team NYSC-West Caldwell set out to raise $45,000 to benefit LLS—a goal the team has surpassed, raising almost $46,000 and counting.
Every member of Team NYSC-West Caldwell that ran on Sunday completed the half marathon—Catherine Bryan, Jennifer Burns, Robert Cardell, Tim Drost, Loren Edelstein, Kara Felton, Theodore Georgousis, Gail Hecht Goldenberg, Natasha Hiden-Burns, Maggie Lambert, Michele LaScala, Elizabeth Maly, Kristen Muehter-Ishigami, Jesus Navarro, Carolynn O’Brien, Chris Paserchia, Lynette Perrone, Cynthia Ritchie, Carina Torres and Kathleen Walsh.
The team had an unofficial member, Patrick Walshe, son of Tim Drost, who at the age of 15 completed his first half-marathon ever. His father’s condition (Hairy-cell Leukemia) served as his primary source of motivation, as he gutted through the course. The 13.1-mile race was part of a weekend of events comprising the 15th Annual New Jersey Marathon Festival at the Shore and attracting about 10,000 participants.
The New Jersey Chapter of TNT had about 160 participants and raised over $450,000; TNT as a whole had about 300 participants from around the country and came very close to the $1,000,000 mark, with about $960,000; an event record.
Team NYSC-West Caldwell raised funds utilizing bake sales, raffles and other various events, which primarily involved the Caldwell community. Team NYSC members extend their gratitude to everyone who participated and who donated items for the raffle, including the following local businesses: David Chad Beauty Parlor, Caldwell; Pink Bungalow, Caldwell; Vitanzo Caterers, Belleville; Luce Restaurant, Caldwell; The Beauty Source, Caldwell; Aura Salon & Spa, Caldwell; Dog’s Best Friend Training and Walking Service, Verona; Calandra’s Restaurant, Caldwell; Frank Anthony’s Restaurant, Verona; Forte Pizzeria & Ristorante, Caldwell; Gelotti Ice Cream, Caldwell; Fleet Feet Sports, Montclair; Trend Boutique, Verona; Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell; Westminster Hotel/Striphouse Restaurant, Livingston; Talium Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing, Cedar Grove; Courtyard by Marriott, West Orange; NJ Rock Gym, Fairfield; and of course New York Sports Clubs, West Caldwell.
Anyone interested in supporting Team NYSC-West Caldwell and its ongoing efforts to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society can log onto the team’s website and make a donation.