Running for LEAP

May 11, 2016


Hundreds of people came out to brave the cold in support of LEAP’s 17th annual Julia’s Run for Children fundraising event on April 10, 2016. This popular 4-mile run through New Haven is held every year to honor the memory of Julia Rusinek, a Yale student, athlete, writer, and humanitarian who passed away from an undetected heart condition in 1999 just before her senior year.


Her parents Roza and Henry, created the Julia Rusinek Memorial Fund to continue her work on behalf of children.   In 2016, the event raised over $14,000. Over the past 17 years, LEAP has received $180,000 from the Julia Rusinek Memorial Fund. 


This year, there were over 300 registrants with 50 children completing the 0.5 mile Fun Run.  First place for the men went to Gilmar Barrios with a time of 21 minutes 50 seconds and to Chloe Moss for the women who had a time of 27 minutes 2 seconds. Twelve-year-old Assan Dawson sped through the Fun Run course completing it in 2 minutes, 49 seconds followed by his 10-year-old sister who finished in 3:25.


Following the award ceremony, there was a raffle with over 25 prizes, all donated by local New Haven businesses including mActivity Gym, Toad’s Place, Trailblazer, Raggs and Katalina’s Bakery among dozens more.  Generous contributions also came from our dedicated sponsors, Aaron’s Inc., Whitney Pediatrics, Gould Law Group, and the Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs.  The runners were well fed with plentiful donations from Yale’s Jonathon Edwards College, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Stop & Shop, and Chabaso Bakery.  It was truly a team effort with dozens of volunteers from LEAP, Yale University, and friends of Julia’s family.


Thank you to all who made this event so successful, but especially the Rusineks for their long-standing support of LEAP and New Haven’s children.