The Examiner

Annual Stayin’ Alive 5K Returns Saturday to Benefit First Responders

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Michele Berliner, left and Christy Saltstein, the organizers of the Stayin’ Alive 5K Fun Run, which will be held for the third time this Saturday morning in Armonk’s Windmill Farm.
Michele Berliner, left and Christy Saltstein, the organizers of the Stayin’ Alive 5K Fun Run, which will be held for the third time this Saturday morning in Armonk’s Windmill Farm.

In 2014, Michele Berliner and Christy Saltstein faced the challenge of having to educate the community in and around North Castle about the Stayin’ Alive 5K Fun Run through Windmill Farm.

That year’s race did well in attracting 185 runners for the inaugural event, and last year 250 participants turned out. Now the 2016 renewal, scheduled for this Saturday morning, is projected to see about 300 runners assemble at the start.

The race and the nonprofit Stayin’ Alive, Inc., the organization created to administer the grants with money raised through entry fees, sponsorships and other donations for equipment purchases for the North Castle Police Department and the fire departments that serve the town, has rapidly gained notice among residents and the local business community.

“It feels like the word is getting out,” Saltstein said. “We even said this year as we were walking around talking to companies, the first year when we went in we had to tell the story from soup to nuts and explain what we were doing. Now there’s such recognition as we approach these business owners. It’s very gratifying. It means the word is getting out.”

Saltstein and co-organizer Michele Berliner, residents of Armonk’s Windmill Farm, said Saturday’s race has a few new sponsors this year – Breezemont Day Camp in Armonk, White Plains Hospital, which opened an urgent care facility last year on Business Park Drive, and Platinum Drive Realty.

Grand Lux Realty is running a promotion where it will donate 18 percent to the organization from net commissions earned from customers who use the coupon in the race bags that are given to the runners.

Their efforts have been recognized because last year, once Stayin’ Alive, Inc.’s 501 (c)3 status was granted, the organization distributed more than $36,000 in grants to the town police department and the four fire departments for equipment that wasn’t in those agencies’ budgets.

To increase awareness, Berliner said Stayin’ Alive, Inc. and the emergency responders collaborated last month on an event with the fire department where gifts were distributed and children could climb inside a fire truck to see what it’s like. The organization will also be involved in EMS Day this Sunday.

“We’re supportive of them, but they’re huge supporters of ours,” Berliner said.

“They’re so good with the kids and even adults can’t walk by (a fire truck) without stopping,” Saltstein added. “You’ve got to stop.”

Berliner and Saltstein created the event and the charity after their husbands were severely injured during Superstorm Sandy, both struck by a falling utility pole near their homes at Windmill Farm. They credit emergency service personnel as well the North Castle Highway Department for helping to save their husbands’ lives.

Both women, who happen to be avid runners, said it’s also important for residents to understand that supporting the local fire departments and EMS is essential because they’re volunteers.

“We keep saying that we never thought we’d be in this position,” Berliner said. “A few years ago, if you asked us whether we’d be part of running a charity together, having a successful fundraising event, I’d say no. But here we are and it’s been great.”

Start time for the race is 8 a.m. followed by the shorter Fun Run for children. Runners may register on the organization’s website at There will also be day-of-event registration on Saturday from 7 to 7:30 a.m. near the start in Windmill Farm.

For more information on how to donate to Stayin’ Alive, Inc., visit its website.






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