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STAR Walk & Run In Westport Raises $90K To Help People With Disabilities

Chaz Davis, notable paralympic runner with Miss Connecticut USA Tiffani Teixeira at the 11th Annual STAR Walk, 5K Run and Roll. Photo Credit: Contributed
Winners of each age category of the 5K Run pose for a photo. Photo Credit: Contributed
James Hobayan of Norwalk High School sings the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the race. Photo Credit: Contributed
Members of Team Ariel pose for a photo. Many are family members or friends of the Levy family of Westport. Photo Credit: Contributed
Amy Dixon, paralympic runner and member of Team USA, speaks at the Walk and 5K Run. Photo Credit: Contributed
Miss Connecticut USA Tiffani Teixeira with the Veroude family of New Canaan. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. – More than $90,000 was raised at the 11th Annual STAR Walk, 5K Run and Roll event held last month at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.

The event benefits individuals who have intellectual disabilities and programs offered by STAR Inc., Lighting the Way. The charity serves Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, and Weston.

“We are so grateful for the families, sponsors and supporters who supported us and came out in the rain,” said Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR. “This event has grown to become one of the favorite events all year for our clients and their families — and it was a wonderful day this year, as well. We are so humbled and tremendously grateful for all the support this year from our families and community supporters.”

Although the day was rainy, nearly 400 attendees enjoyed the fundraiser and family fun day in the covered pavilion at Sherwood Island State Park, and completed the 1-mile walk or 3-mile run. Attendees enjoyed breakfast and lunch donated by area businesses, children’s activities and demonstrations by area organizations.

The walk included appearances by Miss Connecticut USA Tiffani Teixeira; notable runners Chaz Davis, Amy Dixon and James Randon; children’s activities and demonstrations by Earthplace of Westport; FUNBUS; Painted You face painting; balloon art and air brush tattoos; a traditional maypole demonstration led by Bill Fischer; the Norwalk High School ROTC Color Guard; and Norwalk High School singer James Hobayan.

Also in attendance were Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, state Rep. Gail Lavielle and Westport Selectman Avi Kaner.

Top overall winners of the 5K run were:

  • Men: Pedro Yupa of Port Chester, Greg Grambling of Darien, Lee Gardella of Darien, Michael Carney of Norwalk, Glen Colello of Fairfield, Robert Scoville of Southport, Steve Sylvestro of Fairfield
  • Women: Amy Dixon of Greenwich, Emilia Veroude of New Canaan, Sienna Veroude of New Canaan, Kristina Ebert of Trumbull, Marta Korytkowski of Norwalk, Katherine Grambling of Darien, Deborah Moran of Norwalk, Marie Cotter of Stamford and Deb Sylvestro of Fairfield.

STAR Inc., Lighting the Way is a not-for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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