Greta’s Run aims for $80,000 goal in the fourth year

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on March 28, 2017 # Fundraising, News

Greta's Run is 5k Run, Walk, Roll organized in memory of Greta Schoenemann, a Westfield High School freshman who died from injuries sustained on the first anniversary of 9/11, when a tree fell on her during lunch. Her childhood friends, Ben Nanna and Jayne Ruotolo, founded Greta's Run in 2013, to continue the work Greta was already doing for the special and adaptive needs community.

“The suddenness and circumstances of Greta’s death were overwhelming, and we each had our own way of acknowledging her life as years past,” explained Ben, Director of Greta’s Run Foundation. “But when the 10-year anniversary of her death came up, Jayne sent a Facebook message suggesting we do something to celebrate Greta’s life. So we did just that.”

Ben and Jayne started Greta’s Run 5k and fundraiser, which had 900 participants and 200 volunteers its first year in 2013. Now, Greta’s Run has become a community centerpiece with over 1,000 participants annually who travel in from over 24 different states. A growing number of participants race the event in a wheelchair or handcycle.

“Greta’s Run benefits people in the community and nationally with special and adaptive needs because this was Greta’s passion. She sought to eliminate or ease the barriers this community faces, create more opportunities, and have fun,” said Ben. “Her younger sister Elise has Cerebral Palsy. We all grew up around people who identify as having special or adaptive needs, so this informed and focused an inclusive-mindset.”

Though Greta’s Run is an annual event in Westfield, this is a year of firsts. Greta’s Run has a fundraising goal of $80,000, with proceeds going to the Reeve Foundation and Challenged Athletes Foundation, which mirror the mission of Greta’s Run. They moved the race start to Roosevelt Intermediate School, and added handcyclists/participants in wheelchairs to the award ceremony.

“Greta’s Run is one of the largest and most ability diverse 5k events in the area. We take this very seriously, which is why we are working with the Reeve Foundation this year. We are very excited to organize this event in Greta’s honor.”

Register Run, Walk, Roll or Volunteer for Greta’s Run today! $25 Early registration ends 3/28; registration becomes $30 from 3/29 until race day.

Event Details:


April 23


Roosevelt Intermediate School

301 Clark Street

Westfield, NJ 07090

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