First-Ever 5K Race That Aims To Help Injured Marines

By Harold Egeln | Brooklyn Daily Eagle | | May 12, 2011


BAY RIDGE, NY – “On Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21, the U.S. Marine Corps spirit will land in Bay Ridge in the form of a five-kilometer fundraising run for the treatment and care of injured Marines. Near the shores of the Narrows, runners and sponsors are getting in shape for a cause close to the hearts of many here in a community that hosts Brooklyn’s only military base, Fort Hamilton.

“This Semper Fi Fund 5K Run to help injured Marines will be the first one of its kind held here,” said run organizer Cathy Gearity of Bay Ridge. It is a run sparked by her brother, a Marine Corps major general who is now serving in the Afghanistan War.


“It’s important to him to have us support his mission and those who serve in that mission, and those who’ve been injured,” said Gearity, who has a place near Shore Road Park along the Narrows. Her brother is also a lifelong Bay Ridge resident, having graduated Xaverian High School and Fordham University.


The run’s starting line will be at the flagpole area at the park on Shore Road at 81st Street, with registration taking place from 8:30 a.m. to the run’s starting time at 9:30 a.m. Race day registration is $20 per runner, and pre-registration by mail is $15.


“The run starts at 9:30 a.m. and runners will follow the beautiful scenic route along the Narrows Promenade that hugs the water up towards the Verrazano Bridge,” said Gearity. “The 5K run ends at Cannonball Park at Fourth Avenue and 101st Street where an award ceremony with a raffle takes place.”


The Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit fundraising organization founded in 2004 that uses grants and funds raised at events to help injured and critically ill Marines who need hospitalization and treatment.


“The response from restaurants and businesses has been excellent, and stores have been terrific,” said Gearity. “The Foodtown supermarket, for instance, is donating food and water. It’s always there for the community.”


Among the other neighborhood businesses sponsoring the race are BookMark Shoppe, Gino’s, Chadwick’s, the Pearl Room and Aileo’s Restaurant.

“We didn’t even ask Peter Clavin, but he came to us and said, ‘How can I help?’ He contributed a generous $1,000 for which we’re grateful, as for all supporters and runners,” Gearity said of the Clavin Funeral Home owner.


And legislators are pitching in, she noted with gratitude. “State Sen. Marty Golden encouraged me and gave me a lot of support for organizing this run.”


“This run is an outstanding effort that touches home and gives support to those in war and real help to those injured in war. I’m delighted that Cathy Gearity is doing this,” said civic activist Larry Morrish, columnist for the Bay Ridge Eagle and a longtime community supporter of military personnel and their families.


Checks should be made payable to the “Semper Fi Fund” and mailed to Semper Fi Fund, 73 78th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11209. For more information about the event, email [email protected]


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