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Bone Run & Walk attracts record crowd

October 26, 2015 | Media Coverage

Originally posted in the Daily Journal
Jodi Streahle, writer for the Daily Journal

The air was cold enough to chill a body to the bone as a record amount of participants gathered Saturday morning at Parvin State Park for the annual Bone Run & Walk presented by The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

More than 750 participants lined up on Almond Road to embark on a 3-plus mile cross-country course around Parvin Lake. Many wore fun costumes and even more were armed with hats, ear warmers and gloves. There were superheroes, neon hair, wild socks and more.

The course included scenic uphill trails, downhill trails and trails that were so tight they made passing fellow runners an art form.

“I love to run here. It’s a beautiful course,” said Eric DuBois of Pittsgrove, who was the first runner to cross the finish line. Parvin State Park is one of his favorite places to run, lending him a home-field advantage.

All proceeds from the annual Halloween Bone Run & Walk benefit local programs of The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Funds will be used for health initiatives in Cumberland County, including the New Jersey Partnership for Heathy Kids-Vineland, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that combats the city’s childhood obesity epidemic. The program is directed by the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA.

“Net proceeds go to our health work in the community, which is predominately in the Vineland area with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids. Its aim is changing policy, changing the environment, ensuring safe routes to school, cleaning up playgrounds so that there are safe places to play and other healthy choices,” said John Emge, vice president and regional executive director of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

“Over 10 years strong, the Bone Run has become quite a community annual event in the South Jersey region. We are so proud to carry on the tradition,” continued Emge.

While there were not as many costumed participants this year, the run saw a major increase in team participation. There were teams that represented local schools, businesses and community organizations.

“It’s good to come out and get involved in the community,” said Jen Cuesta of Cedarville who ran with teachers from Lakeside Middle School in Millville.

The event comes together through the support of sponsors and volunteers. This year UPS set up trucks so participants could safely store their belongings during the event.

“This year it’s the work of the volunteers that really pulled it together and gave us the ability to spread out and connect with new partners and new sponsors,” said Emge.

Awards were presented to the top five overall male and female finishers. Also, prizes were awarded to the top three male and female runners in nine age categories. For full race results, visit

After the run, participants enjoyed refreshments of soft pretzels, fruit and water. Several local agencies also shared information at a health fair that was set up at the beach during the Bone Run & Walk.

The event was supported in part with a $5,000 Make A Difference Day grant from the Gannett Foundation.

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