Fourth of July charity run to bring over 320 participants

Historical society revives 5K around heritage sites

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The newly revamped and revived Oakdale Firecracker 5K run will take place on Monday, July 4, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Already, over 320 runners have signed up for the charity race, and with a bright forecast expected on Independence Day, 100 more are expected to join.

David Chan, an Oakdale resident, Oakdale Civic Association vice president, and avid runner, decided to revitalize the run that was previously coordinated by the now disbanded Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.

“I wanted to bring back a fun family community event. It became a perfect partnership between community groups: Oakdale Historical Society, Oakdale Civic Association, Neighborhood Watch, Knights of Columbus Sunrise Council, Girl Scout troops and Legis. Anthony Piccirillo’s office,” said Chan.

On discussing his office’s role in coordinating logistics for the run, Piccirillo said, “Proud to have played a small part in helping the with the Firecracker 5k run. This will be a great event not only for Oakdale but the surrounding communities. Will def. Start the Fourth of July off with a bang!”

Each runner will receive a raffle ticket to put in for the dozens of raffle baskets generously donated by the community. This includes the Snapper Inn, a photo session for a family portrait and an 11x14 print, and paddleboarding, among others.

Tickets are $1 each or 12 for $10 or 25 for $20. The Chinese auction will be held at St. John’s Church the day of the race and also on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for those who cannot make the event.

All proceeds of the race will go towards new windows for the historical St. John’s Church in Oakdale, the oldest house of worship in Suffolk County that traces back to the English colonial period.

“Picking St. John’s Church to be the beneficiary for the race funds was part of the idea of raising funds to give back to the Oakdale community. It’s all about saving history in our community,” said Chan.

Local business Sayville Running Company has signed on as official timers for the event, with their sophisticated system that involves a tracking device in each race bib for accurate results and routes.

Excited to collaborate with Chan is his good friend and owner of Sayville Running Company, Brendan Barrett, who said, “He [Chan] used to be one of the people who put on the 5K at MacArthur Airport a while back, so he’s a pretty experienced race director.  The grounds at the Bourne Mansion are also a pretty big draw.  Those views are going to be tremendous, and there’s a lot of local history there.”

“The hardest part of the race event was just getting it started. Once we got going, it became a whole team effort. There was a lot of help from members of the historical society getting race sponsors. I’m just the race director/coordinator, but we couldn’t do this without a whole team of community members and groups working together,” said Chan.

Pre-registrants have a $25 fee to join and day of registrants have a $30 fee.

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