runners in the Reliant Foundation 5K in Worcester

The front of the pack leads the way for the 150-plus runners who took to the course at Reliant Foundation’s annual 5k road race, which raised more than $21,000 for critical public health programs across the region.


Proceeds to Fund Programs for Mental/Behavioral Health for Children and Youth, Along with Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

On a picture-perfect day, the 2021 installment of Reliant Foundation’s Annual 5k raised more than $21,000 for non-profits across Central and MetroWest Massachusetts, adding to the more than $200,000 raised since its inception in 2012. 

Beginning and ending at Shore Park in Worcester, more than 150 runners and walkers took to the route around Indian Lake in an effort to raise funds for programs that focus on substance use disorder, mental health/behavioral health services for children and youth, as well as initiatives that aim to reduce stigma around these issues. 

“We are so pleased with the participation we received for this year’s event, particularly after being on hiatus for a couple of years,” said Kelsa Zereski, president of Reliant Foundation. “As modest as 150 runners may seem, there is no way we could pull off an event like this without our partners – Bancroft School and YMCA Greendale Branch – along with the tireless work of our staff and the unwavering support of our Board, not to mention the 50-plus volunteers who really helped bring this event to life.”

More than a dozen local organizations provided financial and volunteer support including: Aponi Aesthetics, Fidelity Bank, Coghlin Companies, Middlesex Savings Bank, Unibank, Reid & Riege Attorneys, Anna Maria College, Cornerstone Bank, Imperial Distributors, Weepin’ Willies, and Table Talk Pies.

“The money raised from our 5k will help fund critical public health programming across our community,” adds Zereski. “And that programming will absolutely save lives.”

The top finisher for the men was Timothy Hoff of Mansfield, Mass. (19:14.4) and for the women was Mandy Baliva of Worcester, Mass. (24:02.1). Full results can be found on RaceWire

For more information about how to support the Reliant Foundation or how to apply for a grant, visit

About The Reliant Foundation

Established in 1988 as a public charity, the Reliant Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and MetroWest regions of Massachusetts. As a 501(c)3 charity, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within its service area for the purpose of supporting programs that battle critical public health issues like the opioid epidemic, and children’s mental health, as well as, to support COVID-19 recovery efforts for area non-profit grantees and the thousands of individuals they serve. Our charity partners provide life-saving recovery coaching, tele-mental health and behavioral health, grief counseling, and food. For more information, please visit