Basilone Foundation to Host No Excuses 5K through Borough of Raritan in September
Many local sports fans have at the least heard of the Basilone Bowl, an annual high school football all-star game in Somerset County, NJ hosted by the Basilone Memorial Foundation. On the non-sports side of things, the Basilone Foundation also holds other fundraising events like basket auctions, duck races, and their annual parachute drop over TD Bank Ballpark, the home of the Somerset Patriots. This years parachute drop is scheduled for August 19.
This year, co-founders Kim Van Note and Donald Tozzi, have added a 5K race through the town of Raritan to their list of “Manila Madness” summer/fall events.
Sgt. John Basilone, a local war hero, is a Raritan, NJ native. Van Note, his niece, along with Tozzi, founded the foundation in honor of Basilone. The Basilone Memorial Foundation mission is to raise funds to ensure a better quality of life for veterans as well as for the cancer patients that are serviced by the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerville, NJ. They also raise funds for the Fisher House Foundation in Bethesda, MD. Fisher Houses provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.
The No Excuses 5K, will take place, September 22 and all are welcome and encouraged to participate.
“I’m very honored to be carrying on the Basilone legacy in honor of my uncle we are so excited about the first 5K in his home town of Raritan,” said Van Note. “Looking forward to it being a great success. No excuses!”
Joining race participants will be Rob Jones, a combat engineer for the Marine Corps Reserves. Jones joined the Reserve during his junior year at Virginia Tech University as a member of the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion.
Jones was wounded in action by a land mine during a deployment to Delaram/Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. The injury resulted in a left knee dis-articulation and a right above knee amputation of his legs.
After recovery and healing, Jones was fitted with prosthetics, and worked very hard to learn how to walk with two bionic knees. He also had to learn how to do other things such as riding a bicycle, running, and rowing. He has since participated in various Paralympic events in rowing and biking.
In the fall of 2017, Jones accomplished his goal to run 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different cities. Beginning on Oct 12 in London, England and finishing on Nov 11 in Washington, DC, he ran 26.2 miles for 31 consecutive days in 31 major cities in the UK, Canada, and USA. In conjunction with this, his team raised over $200,000 for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
The race is expected to start at the Sgt. John Basilone Statue and follow a historic route through the town.
The race will be officially timed by CompuScore. A $30 registration fee includes a t-shirt and medal. T-Shirts will be given out on race day and awards will be presented to the top three overall male and top three overall female winners.
Virtual run tickets are also available, this will also include a T-Shirt and Medal which will be mailed to you. Participants can register now through the event page.
The 5K is part of a weekend full of events involving the Basilone Foundation. On Friday, September 21 at 10:00 am, the Raritan Post Office will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony as the building will be named after Sgt. Basilone. The day after the race, Sunday, September 23, is the annual John Basilone Parade through town.
Photo of the Month