Why Nursing Home “Family" Runs 5K Fundraiser

For the past 18 years, staffers, family members and residents from New England Pediatric Care in North Billerica MA have been running, walking or riding in strollers in the annual Cool Kids 5K Road Race.

“The race brings residents, families and staffers together and raises money to support recreational activities that are so important to residents of the nursing home,” said Ellen O’Gorman, NEPC Executive Director.

NEPC resident Becky L.’s family has been pushing her in the race for many years. This year Becky’s brother David Taber Jr., cousin Nicholas Smith and family friend David Flores ran.

Dozens of employees participated again this year, among them were first time runners nurse April Champa and her daughter Kaylee.

Fifteen-year old Courtney Hawkins is a Cool Kids veteran. Her Dad Brian carried her on his back before she could walk; then she graduated to a stroller and has walked or run in almost every race ever since. Now a track and cross country runner for her Milford NH high school, Courtney came in first three out of the past four Road Races. This year’s field of 112 was the biggest yet; Courtney was the first female finisher.

‘“I do it because I enjoy racing, but mainly because I want to help the kids at New England Pedi,” Courtney said.

Her mom, NEPC Director of Rehabilitation Nancy Hawkins, says she walks because she sees a direct benefit to the residents she works with. The proceeds supplement grants for field trips, and help pay for the cost of medical support for those outings.

For more information visit www.nepc.org.