To round out Homecoming weekend, student athletes from the fall sports teams welcomed over 125 runners, volunteers, alumni, family members, and friends to the 6th Annual King Cares 5K. The event benefits two non-profit organizations, the Orphaned Starfish Foundation (OSF) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stamford and Greenwich.
This year's run was so successful in many ways. The event was fully planned and executed by King student athletes from the girls and boys fall sports teams. As a result of their community outreach, coordination, and dedication there was the largest number of donor participants, as well as runners registered and in attendance. This event marked the first year there were students not only from the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford and Greenwich participating in or volunteering at the event, but also students from the Colombian orphanage sponsored by OSF, which King has partnered with over the past few years. Our community welcomed five boys from Nuevo Futuro in Bogota during the week leading up to the 5K, with King families graciously hosting them. The boys attended classes in all divisions, as well as soccer practices, the Pep Rally, Homecoming, and the 5K.
To kick off the race, senior captain of the boys varsity soccer team, Luke Nascimento, and senior captain of the girls varsity field hockey team, Jessica Steib, thanked donors, volunteers, and participants. They thanked their peers for all of their hard work leading up to the event, and thanked the faculty members and host families who helped to make the homestay successful for the visitors from Colombia.
The chilly temperature did not slow the runners down. There were amazing finish times. Eva Andersen, Grethe Andersen '19, JC Fredette '21, Siena Gambino (Grade 4), Dean Kaduboski '22, Zachary Lew '24, Shaun Munger (Grade 3), and Olivia Peters '24 were recognized for their times in their divisions.
At the conclusion of the morning, varsity boys soccer coach Enzennio Mallozzi thanked all of the student athletes for their dedication and leadership, and shared that the level of the community engagement with this year's 5K is what has helped this event be the most successful one by far. Bobby Walker, Jr., CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, also recognized the King community for its ongoing partnership and support of the organization, noting that what makes King a very special place is the students' commitment to make a difference in the lives of others, and what the students accomplished with the 5K will do just that.
Lastly, Andy Stein, Founder and Director of The Orphaned Starfish Foundation, expressed his gratitude for King. He shared that he talks around the world about King and the King students' passion and dedication to use their interests and skills to help others. He thanked King student athletes and host families stating that the homestay has given the 5 boys from Colombia the new experience of being part of a family. Memories of a lifetime were created that they will take back with them to Colombia and share with everyone.
The 5K was an exciting way to conclude Homecoming weekend. Student athletes used their leadership and collaboration skills plus their boundless energy to organize an event which made a difference in people's lives. In the process they also learned from and formed wonderful connections with peers, student visitors, and organizations that they had worked with for months leading up to Sunday's race.