Wilton charity plans virtual 5K to help children with cancer
WILTON — It won’t matter if it’s raining or blisteringly hot. There won’t be a line for the restroom, either. Perhaps best of all, now you can run a 5K for charity with no one else watching as you huff and puff your way along Wilton’s downtown roadways.
With a pandemic nipping at its heels, Circle of Care’s annual 5K run/walk — a springtime fixture on the town green for the last several years — is going virtual.
By its very nature, a 5K that annually attracts hundreds of participants does not lend itself to social distancing, face masks, latex gloves and least of all quarantines. Rather than cancel this important fundraiser — as it has had to do several times in last several weeks — Circle of Care is going forward with its first ever 5K Run/Walk Friday, May 1, through Sunday, May 3.
Over the past 17 years, families across the state that receive the devastating news that their child has cancer have come to rely on Circle of Care for emotional and practical support. The organization has helped some 2,000 families during that time. There are about 600 children in treatment in Connecticut at any one time.
Circle of Care, which operates out of one of the historic barns at Lambert Corner on Route 7, works closely with social workers and child life specialists at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital/Smilow Cancer Center and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to deliver its programs.
Those programs and services include:
Bags of Love — the signature gift from Circle of Care to families includes practical items they need from the moment of hospitalization as well as a toy and blanket for each child.
Art from the Heart — which transforms a child’s room at home into a “dream room.” This program has had to stop home visits.
Lifeline Emergency Fund — which helps alleviate some of the financial difficulties families face.
Bounce Back to Fitness — for children coming off treatment to help them regain strength, stamina, agility and confidence. This program has also been put on hold.
Circle of Care’s website says: We can’t change the diagnosis, but we can bring a measure of relief along the journey. We can change moments. We can let these families know they’re not alone.
While Circle of Care relies on a team of dedicated volunteers, its programs cost the charity money — particularly the emegency funds. The fundraising events that support them have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Without those funds, Circle of Care may have to limit its assistance to families in need.
“That is why we have decided to go forward with our first ever virtual 5K Run/Walk,” Circle of Care said in a statment. “We hope our community of friends and families, volunteers, donors and supporters will come out for an important — and safe as well as fun — way to help our families.
Participants may run or walk in their neighborhood, backyard, or on a treadmill. To register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/CT/Wilton/CircleofCare5K.