By LISA CAPOBIANCO
What started out as signing up for a 5K race in Disney World for fun turned into a way for Joyce and Alyssa Chmura of Plainville to give back to PARC, Family-Centered Services for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Joyce and her daughter Alyssa decided to sign up for the Cinderella Royal Family 5K Race, after hearing about it last year from a group of cyclers, “Spoke Folk,” a biking and singing ministry, visited their local church . The 5K Race, which will take place this Friday, Feb. 21, is just one of several other marathons inspired by the Disney Princesses. Wearing tiaras, Joyce and Alyssa will join thousands of other female runners from across the nation.
“It sounded like something fun to do,” Joyce said.
After mentioning the race to Frank Robinson, the former president of the PARC Board of Directors, Joyce and Alyssa decided to raise money for the agency through pledges. Currently, they have raised at least $100 with over a dozen pledges and counting. Joyce’s niece, Evelyn Andrews, will also run in the 5K to benefit PARC.
Joyce and Alyssa said they look forward to giving back to PARC, especially since the agency played an integral role in their family’s life. Joyce’s son, Nicholas, who has autism, attended PARC’s Camp Trumbull when he was younger. Camp Trumbull is a special needs camp that provides an opportunity for children ages five to 18 with developmental disabilities to participate in a variety of activities, including gentle yoga, cooking, art and more.
“It’s a great organization,” said Joyce, adding that PARC provided her son with a caring and safe place for interaction. “They really helped us out when my son was younger.”
I’m just really excited to do it,” added Alyssa.
Robinson said he feels overjoyed that Joyce, Alyssa and Evelyn will give back to the Plainville community during an exciting event. “It’s just so wonderful,” said Robinson, adding that their participation in the race also serves as a great way to recognize individuals with developmental disabilities. “Every step they take is a step for park.”
During the Cinderella Royal Family 5K, participants of all levels will run on a course through Epcot as Disney characters appear on-course cheering them on. Besides the 5K, other marathons will take place at Disney that same weekend, including the Disney Enchanted 10K and Disney Princess Half Marathon as well as races for children, reported RunDisney’s website.
Since they signed up for the 5K last summer, Joyce and Alyssa said they have trained for the race through running at Norton Park during nice weather or practicing on the treadmill.
“We just do a little bit at a time,” Joyce said, adding that the Cinderella 5K will be her second race and the fourth one for Alyssa.
Anyone interested in making a pledge can go to PARC’s secure website www.plainvillearc.org or by sending a contribution to PARC, 28 East Maple Street/P.O. Box 15, Plainville, CT 06062. The deadline to make a donation is March 15.
By LISA CAPOBIANCO