Races Hosted by Reliant Medical Group Foundation, Boroughs YMCA and Community Harvest Project to Benefit Residents of Central MassachusettsFall Fitness 5K Series

Worcester, Mass., July 8, 2014 – The Reliant Medical Group Foundation, YMCA of Central Massachusetts, and Community Harvest Project are proud to announce a new race series debuting this fall called, “The Fall Fitness 5K Series.” The three organizations are partnering to host the bi-weekly series of 5K races slated to take place on October 4, October 18, and November 2. Each partner will keep the proceeds from the race it hosts, which will support programs for healthy living in Central Massachusetts.

The first race of the series – the 3rd annual Reliant Foundation 5K — will take place on Saturday, October 4 at 10 a.m.. The course will loop around scenic Indian Lake, beginning and ending at the Greendale Family Branch YMCA. In addition to the traditional race, the day also features a 5K walking division and a “Bark 1 mile” dog walk for our furry friends with four legs. Proceeds from this race help fund our community grant making activities, which focus on battling obesity and increasing access to health care. Jen Carter from 104.5 XLO will emcee the event, which is presented by Tufts Health Plan and the YMCA of Central Mass.
“Because of the synergies between our organizational missions and because all three races have been around for approximately the same amount of time, this partnership is a natural fit,” says Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “We look forward to seeing how the entire community benefits from this new series.”

The second race of the series, the YMCA of Central Massachusetts – Boroughs Family Branch’s 3rd annual Spooktacular 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run, will take place on Saturday, October 18 at 8:30 a.m. The course will begin at the branch, head down the hill to Route 20 and loop through a nearby neighborhood before returning back to the hill leading up to the main building.

“The staff and volunteers at our Boroughs Family Branch YMCA are excited to partner with the Reliant Foundation and the Community Harvest Project on this new race series,” says Jeff Laliberte, director of the Boroughs Family Branch. “Proceeds from the event will support our Annual Campaign, which provides scholarship assistance to children, families, seniors and adults. As the Y celebrates our 150th Anniversary, we invite everyone to join us knowing that their participation creates real and tangible impact for those who need us most.”

The final race of the series – Community Harvest Project’s 2nd annual Harvest Home 5K Dash – will be held on Sunday, November 2 at 10:30 a.m.  Unlike the other two races in the series, this course will be run entirely on trails – specifically the Grafton Land Trust trails around the farm.  It begins and ends at the Brigham Hill Community Barn at 37 Wheeler Rd in North Grafton. Following the race will be their Family Farm Festival filled with fun for all ages, ranging from hayrides to extraordinary apple cannon and pumpkin catapults to delicious harvest foods and homemade baked goods.

“Community Harvest Project is thrilled to join the Fall Fitness 5K Series partnership. Together, we’re building a healthier community,” says Kristin Bafaro, Executive Director of Community Harvest Project. “All proceeds from our Harvest Home 5K Dash will directly support CHP’s operations, enabling us to improve access to healthy foods for more individuals and families in Worcester County. Each 5K registration provides the funds needed to grow 90 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are all donated through hunger relief agencies. We welcome runners and walkers to become part of the healthy solution to hunger!”

Each of the three race courses has been certified by U.S.A. Track and Field (USATF), and each will feature chip timing administered by Yankee Timing. Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finishers with the best times in each age group at each individual race. There will also be team prizes offered at the Reliant Foundation 5K. Participants must compete in all three races to be considered for the overall mens and womens series prizes, which will be based on the best cumulative times from all three races.

Following each of the races, there will be family-friendly activities, music and refreshments. On-air hosts from 104.5 XLO, 100 FM The Pike or 98.9 ORC-FM will emcee each event.

Registration fees range from $25 to $35 per individual race depending on how far in advance registration is completed. For those looking to register for the entire series (all three races), the fee is $80. Reduced registration fees are also available for children 12 and under. For more information or to register for one or more races, please visit http://www.lightboxreg.com.

Fall Fitness 5K Series sponsors include Polar Beverages, 104.5 XLO, 100 FM The Pike, and 98.9 ORC-FM.

About Reliant Medical Group Foundation
Established in 1988 as a public charity, Reliant Medical Group Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in Central Massachusetts. As the charitable arm of Reliant Medical Group, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within Reliant’s service area that deliver programs to battle the obesity epidemic, create access to healthcare for underserved populations, and support “Innovations in Healthy Living”, such as early literacy. The Foundation also supports Reliant’s patient needs by delivering targeted funding in service to education, comfort and access to care.

About YMCA of Central Massachusetts
The YMCA of Central Massachusetts, a nonprofit human service organization, is committed to strengthening the foundations of community through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility with children, teens, adults and seniors in Central Massachusetts.  Our history runs deep and has impacted generations dating back to the 1800s.  Today, the Y is one of the region’s most significant charitable institutions.  The Y has demonstrated, with great consistency, a distinct ability to address ever-changing community needs.  We do not exist merely to provide quality facilities for health and wellness activities.  Our four full-service branches serve 29,000 members across 57 cities and towns.  We also deliver programs at more than 15 sites in other locations, along with our two rural summer day camps.  Collaboration with more than 100 other partners extends our impact to nearly 60,000 individuals annually.  It is the mission of the Y that membership, child care and program services will always be accessible to any person regardless of age, income, race or religion.  For the past seven years the Y has provided more than $1 million in scholarship assistance and program subsidy to participants.

About Community Harvest Project
Community Harvest Project (CHP), a 501(c)3 organization, is the only non-profit in the area dedicated to improving access to healthy foods through community engagement.  Through their volunteer farming programs, education initiatives, and community partnerships, they bring thousands of community members together each year to improve access to healthy foods for individuals and families in need across Worcester County.  In 2013, thanks to 9,500 volunteer visitors, CHP grew and donated over 324,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables from their farms in North Grafton, which equates to 1.1 million servings of fresh produce for individuals and families in our community who otherwise may not have access. CHP’s Volunteer Farming Program welcomes groups of all sizes, ages and abilities from the community for an unforgettable hands-on experience between April and October. Their educational programs include Sprouting Minds, which serves 4th-6th graders during the school year, and Summer on the Farm, which serves rising 4th-6th graders for a week-long program in the summer. For more information on their programs and impact, see www.community-harvest.org.