Runners from throughout the state raced their way through Brookdale Community College Sunday, combating not only the humidity but all forms of prejudice in the inaugural 5K Challenge for Chhange Run/Walk.
A total of 146 racers crossed the finish line in front of The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange)’s new facility adjacent to Brookdale’s main Bankier Library.
Billy Foster, 15, of South River took first place with a time of 17:58.6 followed by Victoria Pontecorvo, 21, with a time of 19 minutes and Jack Goh, 38, with a finish time of 19 minutes and 10 seconds.
Manfred Lindenbaum, 79, of Jackson, a Holocaust survivor and board member for Chhange, donned a Chhange t-shirt and running shoes as he crossed the finish line Sunday.
Lindenbaum, one of the survivors who unveiled the center's new sign and building, said everyone “should not forget” the Holocaust and its history.
“Their (survivors’) memories should have an impact on the kids all over the state so they advance and make a huge difference on the future.”
Chhange ‘s executive director Dale Daniels said Chhange moved in last week to its new facility after 34 years of existence.
The center houses a dedicated exhibit, research center, library, archives and a “smart classroom” including a video conferencing center and artwork from students throughout the county.
There will be an official grand opening ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18, when the center will be dedicated.
Each year, statewide, Chhange educates more than 15,000 students, teachers and community members. Proceeds from the race will enable Chhange to provide the proactive tools to continue combating hate, bullying and all forms of prejudice.
For more information and/or to register, go to www.chhange.org or call 732-224-2074.