JFK Rotary Club to host benefit run

By Ivan Pereira

The JFK Rotary Club will be hosting its annual “5K Run on the Runway” Sunday at 9 a.m. to raise money to support various charitable organizations. The race, which has been run since 1972, takes place at Building 14 near the airport's main runway, which will be closed just for the event.”This is the only time you can run on the runway and can't get arrested,” Emmlyn Taylor, a spokeswoman for the JFK Rotary Club, said with a laugh.The club, made up of local business owners, airline workers and other professionals who operate within the airport, will use part of the 14,000-foot runway while the planes land on a secondary landing strip, according to Taylor.The funds raised will be given to support organizations such as The Gift of Life International Inc., which sponsors terminally ill children from poor nations for life-saving emergencies; the Futures in Education Scholarship, which provides financial aid to city students who attend private schools ; and the Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf on Long Island.”It is a fund-raiser, so people who support organizations, they look at it and say, 'Hey, I believe in deaf education, etc.,' and they see that this participation helps their cause,” Taylor said.There will also be games and fun events for family and friends of the runners. Prizes, including airline tickets, TVs, DVDs, baseball tickets and more, will be raffled off.The JFK Rotary Club was chartered in 1970 as a new branch of Rotary International, a 103-year-old worldwide service organization. The non-profit's primary commitment of “service above self” is practiced through four types of service: vocational, international, community and to the club itself.The race at JFK Airport has never been canceled during its history due to bad weather or other circumstances, Taylor said.Pre-registration is ongoing and interested runners can come to the runway at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to register before the race begins. Those interested in participating in the event as a runner or sponsor can log on to www.jfkrunwayrun.org or call 973-432-5056.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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