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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Running for Foster Care in Binghamton

More than 400 people, in the Binghamton, NY area joined Team Berkshire at the 2014 Bridge Run, a premiere running event hosted by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.

This year, the Chamber chose Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth as its Charity Partner. All donations raised at the event go to Berkshire's Foster Care Program, which has been providing foster care services in the region for more than 30 years. The Bridge Run comes at a great time of year for the program, as May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.image

"The entire Berkshire family is grateful to the Greater Binghamton Chamber," said Tim Giacchetta, Berkshire CEO (pictured at right being interviewed). "This is a wonderful opportunity to create more awareness about the growing need for foster homes in the area and throughout New York State, and our Foster Care program will put all donations to good use supporting the children in care and their foster families."

imageConfluence Running, with its athletic apparel store on Washington Street, held its own special event to support Berkshire. The store held a pasta party Saturday afternoon and evening. All proceeds from ticket sales are going to support our Foster Care program. Confluence's manager, Matt Gowars (pictured in photo with Tim Giacchetta at left), said the store wanted to give the community "the runner's experience" of carbo-loading the day before the race and to support a great cause at the same time. image

As runners registered for the race, Berkshire's Sadie Purdy (wearing yellow shirt in photo at right) and Kristina Kiehle (in purple shirt) handed out special runner's shirts to those who signed up for Team Berkshire and helped supporters decorate signs. One of the runners who joined the team was 19 year old Mitchell Abrams, of New York City, a student Binghamton University. Mitchell didn't know much about Berkshire, but he listened to one of our dedicated foster care homefinders explain what they do and the growing need for foster families.

"I liked what I heard," recalled Mitchell, moments before the race began on Sunday. "I agreed to join Team Berkshire and wear their shirt. Later, I looked up Berkshire Farm Center on the Internet and read about the Foster Care Program. I think someday I might want to become a foster parent."


A short time later, Mitchell was the first to cross the finish line, winning the 2014 Bridge Run 5k race. Afterward Mitchell said he was happy to represent Berkshire Foster Care; and we were certainly happy and proud to see him accept his prize.

"It is always gratifying when people understand how important our work is in their community," said Tim Giacchetta. "I am especially pleased when I see younger individuals get to know us. It is they who will help us fulfill our mission of strengthening children and families throughout New York State for generations to come."image

An avid runner himself, Giacchetta ran in the 5k event, along with many other Berkshire employees from around the state. Just a few are pictured at right with Giacchetta.

Also running for Berkshire were foster families from around the region, as well as supporters, and many  individuals, groups, and families, who are just discovering Berkshire and the work we do every day in their communities.  Among them was Jessica Dean, pictured below with her family.image

"Some day, as my kids grow older, I'll probably be feeling my 'empty nest' and I think I may want to become a foster parent," said Jessica. 

"The Bridge Run is a tremendous opportunity for us to raise awareness about the growing need for more foster homes," said Alicia Young, Vice President of Home-based Foster Care. "Every child deserves a safe home and a loving family, and community events like this can help make that happen for more children in need," she added.

Click here to learn more about Berkshire's Foster Care Program
and find out what it takes . . . and means to become a foster parent.

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