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lululemon Connects to Community with 5K

lululemon Connects to Community with 5K

lululemons’ Garden State Plaza team hosted a 5K run through the Duck Pond at Saddle Brook Park in Paramus with proceeds going to benefit Oasis – haven for women and children in Paterson, NJ. Oasis provides basic needs (like food and clothing), social services, adult education, and so much more. Oasis helps empower hundreds of women and children every year. Their mission is to change the lives of women and children by breaking the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need…. and trust us, there is a HUGE need.

Members of the lululemon Garden State Plaza team arrive early to set up for a fantastic benefit 5K.

The lululemon team of volunteers and ambassadors arrived early worked quickly to set up an incredible event with an amazing atmosphere. Having covered fundraisers and community based benefits in the northern NJ area for over a decade I can state with confidence, this was one of the best I have seen.

Members of the lululemon Garden State Plaza team arrive early to set up for a fantastic benefit 5K.
Members of the lululemon Garden State Plaza team arrive early to set up for a fantastic benefit 5K.

Regarding the amazing atmosphere created around this event look to the details. Items not normally associated with a 5K such as fresh flowers and candles, provided an innovative touch.

There were a handful of sponsors mostly from other stores that operate within the Garden State Plaza. Dunkin provided coffee and donuts. lululemon merchandise was available for purchase as well.

Of course there was the race itself as well. About 100 participants, which is a good number for a first time event of this type. That number is sure to grow year over year due to how nice the first one played out as relates to community and connections.

Congratulations to the first place runners, male and female. I resist the standard urge to label them the “winners” as there were so many “winners” at this event. As most runners realize the challenge at a 5K is not from the other runners but mostly from within. And so many people from such diverse backgrounds brought many different personal challenges.

David Carucci of Lyndhurst breaks the tape as he finishes first overall with a time just under 21 minutes.
Stacy Marcus of Elizabeth finished 6th place overall and was the first female runner to cross the finish line.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the personal challenges that runners brought with them on this fine fall day. Keep in mind that anyone you see at any time may be facing a huge challenge that we know nothing about. Kimberly Bradley lost her stepson in a tragic car accident less than a month prior to race day. Somehow she showed up with her trainer / coach and ran her race.

Kimberly Bradley, who lost her stepson this past month in a car accident, crosses the finish lines.
Kimberly Bradley wore this pin with a picture of her stepson to honor his memory as she ran yesterday.
Kimberly Bradley with her trainer at the finish line.
This mother / daughter duo, celebrate and fortify there bond with a photo at the finish line.
Catherine Farley of Verona and Liz Johnson of Bloomfield celebrate their successful 5K run with a photo at the finish line. Both finished in under 31 minutes.
Traci Rocha receives a hug from Robert Fottler after she crossed the finish line. Traci has been working hard to transform her health for the better over this past year having lost a significant amount of weight.

All in all a fantastic, well run, inspirational event hosted by your Garden State Plaza lululemon team. Building and bonding within the community while helping to raise funds for and awareness of an eminently worthy cause.

The lululemon Garden State Plaza team and ambassadors take a minute to celebrate a day well spent with a finish line photo.

Out of Town

Brian Hester is a New York City based freelance photographer covering any nature of event including but not limited to; breaking news, sports, entertainment, fashion, nature and whatever may catch his wandering eye. Since 2011 Brian, has been covering community events and high school sports for North Jersey Media Group and their successor Gannett USA Today. His clients include Rutgers University and Monmouth Athletics. ​You can see more of his work at

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