NORWALK, Conn. -- The 17th annual Ian James Eaccarino Memorial 9-Mile Race will take place Saturday at 8 a.m. at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk.
Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of The Courage to Speak Foundation and author of "Sunny’s Story," and her husband, Larry, have been members of the Lightfoot Running Club, which is promoting the event, for over 30 years.
The race is dedicated to Ian Eaccarino, the Katzes' son, who died after a drug overdose. The 9-mile race is dedicated to Ian's memory, as he worked at the beach the summer before he died and personally planted many of the trees that are now aligned with this beach.
The Courage to Speak Foundation is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 whose mission is to save lives by empowering youths to be drug-free and parents to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs.
Over the past 18 years, Ginger and Larry Katz together have presented Ian’s story to hundreds of thousands of people across the country and have been recognized on a state and national level for their work. The Courage to Speak Foundation has developed drug prevention education programs taught in Connecticut schools and beyond, and Courage to Speak -- Courageous Parenting 101, a free course offered in English and Spanish evaluated and recommend by Yale University that educates parents on how to keep their children safe from drugs.
Last year, 146 runners participated in the race. A plaque was given to Jonathon Tinker-Lam, 16, of Trumbull for crossing the finish line as the youngest participant in the race.
Sponsors for the race include the Lightfoot Running Club and Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department and Booth Financial Associates.
More sponsors are needed -- Platinum Sponsor ($2,500), Gold Sponsor ($1,000), Silver Sponsor ($500), Bronze Sponsor ($250) and Friend of the Race ($100).
For information about sponsoring the race, running in the race and volunteering, call Ginger Katz at 877-431-3295 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.couragetospeak.org.
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