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Pauly Friedman Family 5K Supports Family Service Association’s 211 NE/Help Line

Annual Walk/Run Returns With a New Location

The 13th Annual Pauly Friedman Family 5K Walk/Run on Sunday, August 29 is offering runners, walkers and families of all ages and abilities a new location, a scenic route and added attractions as it continues to support Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s free Pennsylvania 211 Northeast / Help Line service in the region.

The Sidney and Pauline Friedman Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Kingston, under the direction of Gary Bernstein, CEO of the Friedman JCC, will host the annual event, which begins at 9 a.m. Participants can register for the walk/run online. Early registration for the walk and run costs $25 or $10 for students and participants age 21 and younger. All pre-registrants will receive a T-shirt. Registration also is available the day of the event from 7:30-8:45 a.m. The cost on race day is $30 per person.

The overall first place male and female winners in the run and walk will receive medals. In addition, first, second and third place finishers in eight age categories will earn medals.

The new course for the Friedman Family 5K Walk/Run begins at the JCC (a map of the course is also available online). Athletes will bear right onto Third Avenue upon leaving the 13.4-acre Weinberg Campus of the community facility until arriving at the Kingston Recreational Center. They will follow a trailhead that will take everyone behind the center and onto the levee system.

Once on the levee system, participants will travel through the Riverfront Park Common Area and into Kirby Park. To complete the course, participants will retrace the route back along the levee system, past the Kingston Recreational Center and end at the JCC.

Tom Foley, director of PA 211 Northeast and Help Line services, left, and Mike Zimmerman, hold a sign informing event participants where to line up for the walk/run in 2019.

The annual event is in memory of the late Pauline “Pauly” Friedman, a long-time board member and chairperson of FSA’s board of directors. Her leadership and actions continue to benefit the nonprofit agency and the many people who utilize its services and programs. She organized the first fundraiser for the health and human services agency in modern history and formed the Friends Committee, the volunteer fundraising arm of FSA that continues to play an important role today. Proceeds from the run/walk benefit PA 211 / Help Line, which was her favorite program.

“Pauly was dedicated to her community and PA 211 Northeast,” said Remy Sweeney, a board member at FSA and chairperson of the 13th annual program. “The Friedman family continues to support her initiatives and many other worthwhile endeavors for the betterment of the Greater Wyoming Valley.

The 13th Annual Friedman Walk/Run also features various auctions and raffles for baskets and prizes, live music by DJ Bouncin’ Bernie ADH (All Da Hits) DJ Productions, food vendors, health and learning initiatives with the Commission on Economic Opportunity and PA Distance Learning Charter School, massages for participants by Eleventh Element spa and more.

“Pauly was always about inclusion and community,” said Tom O’Neill, a member of the organizing committee. “The Friedman Jewish Community Center is the perfect backdrop for an event held in her memory and in support of her favorite program at Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

The annual event has raised nearly $135,400 since its inception in 2009. Proceeds support the free services of FSA’s PA 211 NE / Help Line, which provides information and referral services that help people face life challenges by connecting them to the local resources they need. It is available year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By dialing 211, texting 211 (898 211 and zip code) or utilizing the website, it saves time and frustration by eliminating the need to navigate a maze of agencies and organizing all available resources in one, locally operated database.

Cathy Beretski, gives a thumbs-up during the 12th annual fundraiser, which was virtual in 2020.

Calling 211 connects people to professional caseworkers who address diverse needs, such as domestic violence, emergency shelters, vaccination clinics, food banks, crisis intervention, rent and utility payment assistance, drug and alcohol detoxification and more.

“211 is such a vital part of our community, especially now during the pandemic,” added Sweeney, who has been an FSA board member for three years. “With this being the 13th annual race, I wanted to make sure to raise awareness and reinforce the essential services it provides to everyone in Northeastern and North-Central Pennsylvania.”

A group of involved and concerned members of our community founded the Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania (FSA) in 1895 in order to provide diverse services to children, individuals, seniors and families that empower them to reach their full potential by building healthier relationships, and ultimately stronger communities.

Today, FSA’s 13 programs provide services to residents in 17 counties, including Bradford, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties. For more information about FSA or to support their programs, please visit their website, call at (570) 823-5144 or email [email protected]

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