UNION, NJ — The Union Township Chamber of Commerce and the mayor’s office will stage a 5K race Sunday, Sept. 24 to raise funds for a local family who is struggling to pay medical bills.
A portion of the funds will go to Christina and Michael Lacerda, of Union, who have been married since 2005. Last year, Michael Lacerda suffered a brain aneurysm that led to three strokes at the age of 39.
Although he survived, he suffers from short-term memory loss and can no longer work, drive or take care of himself.
The family is also struggling to pay $2,400 a month in health insurance for therapy, prescriptions and doctor’s visits.
The Union Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with the township to host the Mayor’s Day 5K Run and will donate a portion of the proceeds from registration to the family.
The race, in its seventh year, will begins at the Union High School at 9 a.m.
Check-in is at 7:45 a.m. and a kids’ fun run starts at 9:15 a.m.
“We’ve supported causes like autism, Make-a-Wish, and then we started moving into helping local families in Union,” Union Township Chamber of Commerce Executive Director James Masterson said, adding, “This year, Mayor Suzette Cavadas said she’d like to help the Lacerda family.”
This isn’t the first time local groups have come together to help the Lacerda family.
In April, the Taste of Union event, which showcases local restaurants and food vendors, donated all its proceeds to the family.
The family with a young daughter is in jeopardy of losing their home since Christina Lacerda is the family’s sole bread-
Masterson expects more than 300 runners to participate in this year’s race and more than 70 sponsors, including Shake-a-Paw pet store, Gateway Family YMCA and Batteries Plus Bulbs.
The kids’ run sponsors include the Kiddie Academy of Springfield and United Community Business Solutions.
The fun run is for children in kindergarten through grade five, with prizes awarded to the top three male and female finishers in each age bracket.
T-shirts and gift bags will be given out to the first 300 registrants.
Registration is now under way and ends Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. Registration for the kids’ run comes with a T-shirt and entry into a raffle to win one of four bicycles.
A 50 percent off registration code, UNIDHOS, can be used at checkout, and is limited to the first 100 children who sign up. To register for this event, visit www.unionchamber.com.