Community members gathered outside Temple Beth Am on a recent Sunday to participate in the second annual Rock n Run, a not-for-profit event that dedicates proceeds to ovarian and breast cancer charities. Between 7:15 and 10 a.m., participants donated money, time and exercise to support fighting the diseases, which affect 16 percent of all women. At the end of the day, they had raised $46,000, about $6,000 more than last year’s event. “We were overwhelmed by the response to the first Rock ’n Run event,” said cochair and ovarian cancer survivor Amy Hollub.
“We received a lot of support in the community and from local businesses, and this year we got even more. I think that more and more people and businesses realize that cancer awareness is critical.”
The event began to take form two years ago when Amy’s daughter Aliya was preparing her mitzvah project for her Bat Mitzvah. The entire family, inspired by Amy’s struggle, decided to get involved and do something to help heal the world.
As members of a family of fitness enthusiasts, Aliya and her older sister Rylee decided to combine a traditional noncompetitive fundraising 5K walk or run with another one of their passions — dance.
They enlisted the help of their favorite dance instructor, Jay Marcos, who hosts Videosync, a cardio dance class that serves as an alternative to the run, and held the first event in October, 2013 with the aid of their parents, Amy and Harry, their brother, Aaron, and event co-chairs Meredith and Carlos Wolf. Beth Am Rabbi Rachel Greengrass, a breast cancer survivor, also helped. Their slogan: Think Pink, Feel Teal.
“Having the option to walk, run or dance made it so this event wasn’t just geared towards runners; it would be geared towards families,” said Meredith Wolf.
“There is nobody I know that has not been touched by cancer. It’s our friends, mothers, sisters and cousins. It’s everywhere and it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to take part in finding a cure. We hope to reach more people who have experienced this and are looking for some way to help.”
Rock ’n Run is truly a community effort. Although Temple Beth Am serves as host, both Temple Judea and Temple Bet Breira cooperated in organizing the event. Pinecrest’s Orange Theory Fitness, owned by Mike and Christina Singer, hosted the 5K.
Rock ‘n Run has raised more than $86,000 for charities including Cancer Link, the Sandy B. Muller Breast Cancer Foundation, The Women’s Breast Cancer Initiative, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (F.O.R.C.E.) and Sharsheret. “It’s a lot of work, not only for my family but for so many people who were an integral part of the initiative that made it the incredible event it was,” said Amy Hollub.
“It really couldn’t have become what it was without the help of the entire community. We are so appreciative and blown away by the support that we received.”
For more information, go to www.rocknrun.org.