On Sunday, April 26, 650 volunteer runners converged on Rockland Lake State Park to join in a race to support two local charities. The runners were all employees of Centers Health Care and they came from all parts of New York, some from as far as Buffalo, to participate in the race. Centers Health Care, the largest post-acute health care provider in New York, manages three skilled nursing facilities in Rockland County – Northern Manor, Northern Metropolitan and Northern Riverview. Centers CEO Kenny Rozenberg got the idea for the race and asked employees of the company to suggest the charities they would like to support. Rozenberg pledged $10 for each volunteer runner to be donated to the top two suggested charities. Runners chose either a 5K or a 10K course through the park and around the lake. At the conclusion of the race, donations of $3,250 each were presented to Maria Paliotta, Director of the Rockland County Office of the Alzheimer’s Association and Lizette Dorado Community Manager for the American Cancer Society.
In addition to the donations, Centers paid the travel expenses for all of their employees who had to travel to participate in the race. “It’s a way of giving back. We serve so many residents afflicted with Alzheimer’s that every one of our employees knows the toll this terrible affliction can take on a person, and their family. We see it first-hand” said Rozenberg. “And there are few if any among us who don’t know someone whose life has been affected by breast cancer. If there is small part we can play in helping those on the front lines who battle these diseases every day, then we’re on board with that” continued Rozenberg.
In addition to hundreds of runners, Centers employees turned out in droves to help in other ways, placing directional signs, course markers, signing in runners and helping with the logistics of serving breakfast and lunch to more than 700 people.