Maplewood in Motion Celebrates 10 Years
Mark your calendars for October 17—that's the day to run Maplewood's most celebrated 5K. This year, the Maplewood libraries and the Public Works tree planting program are beneficiaries.
If you haven't already set aside October 17, do it now.
That's the day when the Maplewood Lions Club will literally "run" Maplewood's favorite come-one-come-all sporting event—the Maplewood in Motion 5K.
For the past nine years, Maplewood in Motion has benefited a variety of charities and local community organization. This year, the race will benefit the Maplewood Public Libraries and the tree replacement project of the Maplewood Department of Public Works.
According to Karen Pisciotta, President of the Maplewood Lions Club, "Whether you're a long time resident, or have recently decided to make Maplewood your home, it is likely that you've come to realize that Maplewood is a special community. Our unique sense of community has long been supported by the Maplewood Library system–including not only its basic services but its senior programs, Summer Youth Reading programs and more. Additionally, the beauty of our streets, parks and public spaces are enhanced by the numerous shade trees around town, which makes us one of the most desirable communities in all of New Jersey."
Eric Burbank, Director of Public Works, is appreciative.
"We were very excited when the Lion's Club approached us and asked if we could use the money for tree planting," said Burbank. "With their money, we should be able to meet all of the residential requests for trees to be planted in front of their homes."
Jane Kennedy, Director of the Maplewood Memorial Library, is likewise thankful.
"The Maplewood Library is thrilled to be the recipient of the proceeds from the Maplewood in Motion 5K Race," enthused Kennedy, "and thanks the Lion's Club for the honor." Kennedy noted that the libraries have been facing tough times financially—and have been looking for new ways to fund materials and programs. "In a time when libraries are more important than ever to the community, they are facing major funding issues," she said. "The proceeds from this race will help us to serve our teen patrons better by helping to create a homework and reading space for them. We are looking forward to being involved in this great Township event."
Lots of Public Works and Maplewood Library workers are sure to run the race, but Burbank says don't expect to see him sprinting by in a singlet and Nikes.
"Todd [Lamm, the shade tree director] just asked if I was entering the race with him, and I told him, 'As soon as they allow vehicles to participate I will enter.'"
The Lions Club is hoping that the 10th annual Maplewood in Motion Race will exceed prior years which boasted close to 500 registrants. In the past, the race has been supported by numerous local businesses and individuals. The race committee is currently soliciting sponsors and appreciates the generosity of local businesses.
In that spirit of community, Seton Hall University students from the school's Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE) will once again be assisting as volunteers during the race.
Last year's Maplewood in Motion 5K raised funds for the Maplewood Fire Department to purchase a thermo-imaging unit, the Jersey Animal Coalition, and the South Orange Maplewood Education Foundation. Previous beneficiaries have included YouthNet, Ever Upward, the Columbia High School Alumni Association (CHSAA) Field Renovation Project's campaign for Underhill, the ARC of Essex's three Maplewood-based programs including Avenues for Seniors, After-School Recreation Program and Maplewood Community Resource Program; Children Together Foster Care Shelter, Maplewood First Aid Squad, The Maplewood 9/11 Fund, Michelle (Shelley) Traina Riecke Teaching Fellowship, South Orange/Maplewood Mentor Program (SOMMP) and the establishment of a Maplewood Recreation Department Scholarship.
The 5K race starts at 9:00 AM in front of Kings Supermarket on Maplewood Avenue. Immediately following the road race is a Kids' Fun Run. All runners receive an event t-shirt (while supplies last) and all Kid's Fun Run participants will receive medals. Runners for both the 5K and the Kids' Fun Run can register online at or print and complete the form and mail it in.