We’d like to once again say thank you to everyone for your patience with waiting for updates and additional information. Your support and patience allowed the three organizers to pool all resources and organize as much as they could in a limited amount of time. The three organizers of this run have been putting 150% effort into making this event a reality, and we appreciate everyone who has reached out to offer their help any way they can.

We finally have an update, but it’s not the update anyone was hoping to hear (although there is still some good news). As many of you are aware, putting on any kind of “race” takes months, sometimes even over a year, to organize. Officials in Newtown are still overwhelmed with tons of work and there are worries that our 5k will mean a serious shortage of manpower and state support needed to make it “official. Organizing an “official” 5k run/walk would entail coordinating with the police department, as well as state departments that are currently unable to work with us, given the time frame we have to work with.

With that said, the organizers and myself still intend to run our Strides for Sandy Hook 5k on Saturday, January 19, 2013. We will be convening on the soccer fields at Fairfield Hills in Newtown, Conn. at 9:30 a.m. for a balloon release and 5k run to show our support to the victims as well as our heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. We would like for this to be an unofficial community run/gathering where residents of Newtown and surrounding areas can come together and run to remember those lost.

We understand this group has attracted 5,000+ people; however, without town/state approval as an “official” event, there is no way we can accommodate such a large number of runners. Everyone’s support is greatly appreciated, but with the recent developments, our hands are tied.

We encourage non-local runners (New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, etc.) to gather in their respective communities and hold satellite runs or gatherings of support. We also encourage satellite runners to make a donation for the same amount as what the registration fee would have been—$25 to the Newtown Park Gift Fund (http://www.newtown-ct.gov/public_documents/NewtownCT_Park/index), with “Strides for Sandy Hook 5k Run” written in the memo box. Please post any photos you take that day to the Strides for Sandy Hook 5k Facebook “event” page, as well, so we can share the day with each other.

Please remember that the primary reason for this event was to remember and honor the lives lost on December 14. This can be achieved, no matter where you find yourself running on January 19. We hope this doesn’t disappoint anyone who was looking for an “officially timed race.” Truth is, the most important aspect of this day is to remember those lost and run together as a show of solidarity. Times, goals, and PRs were never what we had in mind for this 5k when we set out to make it happen in such a short time.

Now, this may not be the “official” Strides for Sandy Hook 5k memorial run/walk, but we can still make a difference. Coming out Saturday will be your way of making a difference, and we can’t wait to see it! If you take photos of your community’s satellite memorial run, we’d love to feature them in a special “Strides for Sandy Hook” album on Facebook and our website. Please email all photos to stridesforsh5k@gmail.com. If you plan on coming out, running and showing your support in Newtown on January 19, please “join” the event page we have provided on Facebook so we can have a general idea of how many  are attending. We will also be accepting cash/check donations the day of for the Newtown Park Gift Fund.

Again, thank you all for your endless support! We could not have made it as far as we did in the planning process if not for the outstanding support from both individuals and companies. Thank you to David Katz of Finish Line Road Race Technicians (timing and course measurement), Charlie Olbrias of Last Mile Racing (registration), Michael Skelps (photography and bibs), Jack Coutts of Woodbridge Running Company (prizes), Debbie O’Toole of Ozone Fitness Training Center (prizes), Iovino Brothers (t-shirts), Bondi Bands (prizes), ENERGYbits (post-race food provisions), Goodwill, Vitamin Water, Chobani, Crystal Rock, New Balance of Bethel, and the hundreds of volunteers we collaborated with during this short time frame. We can’t wait to see you (or your photos) on January 19!

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The national support for Newtown continues to grow… yes, Nashville is on our side.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, Robbie Bruce put on a run to remember, honor, and raise money for the families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. The turnout? Over 1,000 runners. Nearly $40,000 raised (surpassing their initial goal of $15,000). Robbie Bruce’s run proved that Nashville is Newtown strong.

Through donations, the 26.4.26 Fund was created; the fund continues to raise money for Newtown, even post-marathon. Bruce says that all donations will go towards supporting victims’ families, honoring hero teachers, and improving school security. This display of support for the families and community reinforces is simply amazing.

Click here to see the 26.4.26 marathon run for yourself. Thank you, Nashville.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays! We hope everybody and their families have a very happy holiday. Hug your families a little tighter this year; say “I love you” to that annoying aunt who doesn’t quite grasp the concept of personal space; eat the vegetables your mom puts on your plate. Remember: it’s not about the presents. Appreciate what and who you have in your life.

We’re hoping to have more information and official confirmation on the Jan. 19 date relatively soon; we are trying every day to ensure this 5k memorial run/walk comes together perfectly. In the meantime, enjoy the time your family, friends, and loved ones. Continue to stay strong… we are not alone. We are Newtown.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,
Strides for Sandy Hook co-organizers

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Eating in Sandy Hook

We’ve had some questions about where out-of-towners can go to eat or grab a drink post-5k. Newtown has a variety of amazing restaurants, and we’re sure some of you have already Googled what’s around.

If you want to support the business owners in Sandy Hook, we’re more than happy to suggest some restaurants associated with SHOP. The Sandy Hook Organization Prosperity (SHOP Sandy Hook) was created in 2011; the first board was created with a goal of building on streetscape plans and economic growth of Sandy Hook. All eateries in Sandy Hook can be found on SHOP’s website, but here’s the quick list:

Demitasse Cafe, for coffee, tea and espresso fanatics

Figs, for a fresh, seasonal and very diverse menu

The Iron Bridge at 100 Church Hill, for a real “beer and burger” deal

– Sandy Hook Diner, a landmark diner with all the classic breakfast items

– Stone River Grille, for a steakhouse/bar/pub style restaurant with a riverside view

– The Villa Restaurant, for a variety of pizzas, pastas, appetizers, Italian entrees, desserts and fine wines

Don’t forget about the other wonderful restaurants in Newtown— these are just the eateries affiliated with SHOP!

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Resilient: adjective.

(of a person or animal) able to with stand or recover from difficult conditions.

E.g.: The heart is very resilient when love is all around.

There is not a doubt in our minds that Newtown is resilient. We are not alone. We are Newtown strong.

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Angels for Sandy Hook Elementary

Small town, big support system. Newtown continues to prove itself as a community that comes together in times of need. Fellow NHS graduates teamed up to create a non-profit organization called Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary, and we are proud to share their amazing accomplishments.

Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary is a non-profit organization started by a group of close friends (all graduates of Newtown High School) who want to show continuous support to the families affected by this horrible tragedy.

All proceeds donated to the organization will go 100% to the families for whatever they may need; the group is hopeful that this will become a scholarship fund in the future for the victims’ siblings and/or possibly Sandy Hook Elementary school alumni. So far, Angels for Sandy Hook Elementary has raised nearly $30,000. This includes the money raise through online donations and checks sent in from across the country when the group of friends were originally called “Santas for Sandy Hook.

“We are so thankful for everyone’s continuous support and so proud of our fellow Newtowners who are doing the same as we are,” says Paige Logel, one of the organization’s founders.

If anyone would like to donate to Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary’s cause, you can write a check to Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary and send it to:

Angels of Sandy Hook Elementary
P.O. Box 3234
Newtown, CT 06470

Also, the organization has a donation link that can be found at: www.gofundme.com/AngelsofSHEIf anyone has any questions, they can email the organization at: angelsofsandyhookelementary@gmail.com.

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Teaser: Strides for SH 5k Flyers

We thought we’d give you a quick teaser of our flyers, designed by a fellow Newtown High School graduate (and friend):

Teaser Flyer StridesforSH5k


Flyers (and e-flyers) won’t be sent out and posted until the date is officially confirmed. We’re proud of all the work we’ve managed to get done in just under a week and have almost everything all lined up!

Again, thank you for your patience with everything. We are aware it’s holiday season and want to provide you with with as much information as possible; in a town still processing last week’s events, it’s easier said than done. Things should fall into place after the holiday, we’ll keep you posted as usual!

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