Camp Harkness, 301 Great Neck Road,, Waterford, CT
The United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut Disability Support Program will hold its first Dash, Stroll& Roll at Camp Harkness on Sunday, August 30 at 9 a.m.. The all-inclusive 5k fun run is suitable for all levels of ability and offers participants the opportunity to show support for a life without limits for people with disabilities.
“Everyone is walking together to celebrate diversity and ability,” said UCPECT executive director, Jennifer Keatley. “It’s all about bringing people together and being a part of the community.”
Camp Harkness is a 102-acre state owned property comprised of open and wooded land, tidal marsh and beachfront located at 301 Great Neck Road, Waterford. It is fully accessible with plenty of parking, playgrounds and is direct on Long Island Sound. The course will take participants through the beautiful grounds, along Great Neck Road returning to the shoreline pavilions.
“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” said disability support coordinator, Shannon Taber. “We’re hoping for as many as 300 runners. We expect many of our UCP athletes and staff to participate. ”
Major sponsors supporting the event include The Day newspaper, Relay Connecticut, Buffalo Wild Wings, Fusion Interactive Group and Shoreline Social Sports and Events. Two Isagenix water stations will be set up as well as opportunities for children’s crafts and activities.
Participants and volunteers can register at www.ucpect.org/news, as well as registering the day of the event beginning at 8 a.m.. Registration is $30 per adult, $15 for children ages 5-12, and children under 5 years of age are free. Prizes will be awarded to top male/female performers in adult and children’s age groups.
“I think the event will bring the community together,” said Taber. “I feel like there are a lot of events that some of our individuals are afraid to participate in, and we really want them to get out there and do it, and see how healthy they can be by participating in things. We want them to succeed.”
The Disability Support Program, which has been in operation since 1999, receives all of its’ funding from local philanthropic organizations and foundations including the United Way, and through fund raising efforts like the 5k. It provides referrals, advocacy and assistance to people with disabilities and their families throughout eastern Connecticut, helping them to live life as independently as possible. That support comes in the form of assistive technology and equipment, housing and transportation, support groups, housing and transportation, educational support and community advocacy.
“We’re trying to create awareness of the program while also raising money to keep these vital supports going,” said Keatley. “We want people to see that UCP is not just for adults with cerebral palsy. We’re working to help all kids and all adults along a spectrum of disabilities, and provide support to their families as well.”
The 5k fun run is also the kick off for the organizations’ STEPtember event that challenges teams to take 10,000 steps per day for 28 days, and like this event, it aims at raising awareness. Visit www.STEPtember.us for more information or contact United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut at (860) 443-3800. They are headquartered at 42 Norwich Road, Quaker Hill, CT. Visit www.UCPECT.org .