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(Queens, NY)–The 34th Annual Buckley’s-Kennedy’s Run drew over 850 runners on Sunday, May 18. Nick Karam was the overall male winner, finishing the race in 16:43. Lisa Fajardo, who finished in 19:28, was the top female winner.
Hundreds of sports buffs, friends, family members and neighbors came out to enjoy the food and beverages, games and live entertainment at the family picnic following the Run. “The outpouring of support from the Brooklyn and Queens communities and businesses, as well as HeartShare staff and board members, is what continually makes this event a success,” stated HeartShare President and CEO Bill Guarinello. Generous sponsors included the Buckley and Casey families, Maureen and Bob Golden, RAM Abstract, Ltd., NYC District Council of Carpenters, Morgan Stanley and National Grid.
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder and NYS Senator Marty Golden attended to show their support. Senator Golden called the event an effective way to “bring awareness to a great organization.” Assemblyman Goldfeder participated in the 5K with three of his staff members. “My colleagues in Albany think they know what’s best, but it’s the people in the community doing great work, like the HeartShare team, who know where and how our money should be spent,” stated Goldfeder.
The Buckley’s-Kennedy’s Run has become a long-standing tradition in the New York community. Participation is a source of pride for many who have run or volunteered every year since 1981. In recent years, the event has also boosted community morale. A 5K Run in Breezy Point, especially the last two years, is a testament to community life thriving following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. “Although devastated by Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers came out to Run. With the Run course in Breezy Point, the community has never hesitated to resume daily life, including its most cherished traditions,” continued Mr. Guarinello.
The Run also directly benefits HeartShare programs, as well as supports other causes, including a $5,000 academic scholarship fund in the memory of a Buckley family member, who battled cancer but sadly her fight ended at the age of 14. In addition, the annual Run memorializes people who are dear to the Buckley and Casey families, as well as those who are the heart and fabric of the local community. This year, the Run was dedicated in memory of Elizabeth “Joan” Higgins and Tommy Farrell. The children of both Ms. Higgins and Mr. Farrell, who attended the event, recalled memories of working at Buckley’s Restaurant with the late Jimmy Buckley, Owner of Buckley’s Restaurant, and his Co-Owner of Kennedy’s Restaurant, Gerard Casey, who first started the Run to give back to the community. Neither could have foreseen the positive impact of the Run over the past three decades.
The Run is made possible through the generosity of Buckley’s and Kennedy’s Co-Owners Jimmy Buckley, Jr., Christine Buckley Strehle, and Gerard Casey who together carry on this family tradition. “I’m grateful that my father, Jimmy Buckley, got me involved with this organization. My father was also a savvy businessman and he would be proud that HeartShare continues to contribute 90 cents of every dollar to the children, adults and families it serves,” said Jimmy Buckley, Jr., before presenting trophies to Run winners.