In addition to the funds earmarked for the Marisa Fund, $14,500 was raised for other Rockland County charities, including People to People, Rockland’s largest food pantry, providing food and other services to families and seniors in need; Rockland County Hispanic Law Enforcement Organization; Rockland Road Runners Scholarship Program; Salvation Army/Rockland County Corps; Congers/Valley Cottage Ambulance Corps; and the Blue Knights law enforcement motorcycle club.
At the Rockland Road Runners kickoff Zoom meeting January 17, Turkey Trot race director Dave Goldwasser announced that his 2021 event generated $115,500 for local charities. The five-mile race, held Thanksgiving Day, November 25 at Rockland Lake, yielded $101,000 for the Marisa Fund, which raises money for research, treatment and care of pediatric cancer patients.
The Marisa Fund seeks to improve the chances of survival for children with cancer undergoing blood and bone marrow transplants, and to reduce the risks of their associated therapies. Goldwasser founded the Marisa Fund in memory of his daughter, Marisa Goldwasser, a former track runner at Clarkstown North High School who died of Hodgkins lymphoma in 2003, at age 20.
The 2021 Turkey Trot had 2,665 registered entrants, making it the largest running event in Rockland and one of the largest Thanksgiving Day races in the Northeast. The $101,000 raised for the Marisa Fund was a record total, Goldwasser pointed out.
“These much-needed funds will go toward finding a cure for pediatric cancer and helping families struggling with the burden of having a child with cancer,” Goldwasser said, adding that 43 families were directly assisted from proceeds generated at the race.
The Turkey Trot has been held annually at Rockland Lake since 1992, except for 2020 when the race was run virtually due to the COVID pandemic.