More than 400 runners participated in the Patchogue on Dec. 5 sponsored by the Patchogue Kiwanis Club. Participants were asked to donate a new and unwrapped toy as part of their entrance fee for this special race.
Close to 450 gifts were then wrapped by the Patchogue-Medford High School Key Club, along with the high school's Venture Crew 1776. Treasurer of the PMHS Key Club, Francheska Lopez, was thrilled at the turnout and amount of gifts received.
"Its great to be a part of this. We always do community service for 'K Family' to help out others in need. The toys are fun," Lopez said.
Toys will be distributed among eight local churches and ministries. These organizations will then distribute the packages to children of needy families. Funding from the race will be used by the Kiwanis to buy clothing and food, as well as provide payment for kids to attend Camp Kiwanis, an upstate summer camp, for a week.
This was race director Nick Harding's first year organizing the Santa 5K Toy Trot. "I have personal interest in this as a runner and a Kiwanian to help out needy kids," Harding said. He also organized the .
Walter Pepper, of the Kiwanis, added "The race has been ongoing for four to five years and is expanding each event." The race began in front of the on Jennings Avenue. Award ceremonies were held at .
The overall winner was 27-year-old Chris Mammone of Massapequa. Mammone ran a time of 15:51.2. First place female winner and third place winner overall, Lenora Petrina, 28, of Bayport ran a time of 16:34.6.
According to Harding, Mammone and Petrina have each been nationally ranked as "the fastest runner on Long Island." Both run times have set records for the 5k course. Complete results from the race can be found here
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