The Children's Advocacy Center's
Remembering Zachary Moonlight 5k
Early in 2010, April messaged me with an idea. I should first tell you who April is. We were just starting our friendship. I reached out to her because both of our worlds were turned upside down through two different tragedies. Different crimes affected our lives, different outcomes, but we felt a lot of the same heartache. I thought I would be a shoulder for April, but I had no idea just how much she would influence my life.
So April had told me about this place called the Children's Advocacy Center in Northeastern Pennsylvania. They are an organization that helps abused children through what is likely to be their most traumatic experiences in life. Each year they help hundreds of children.
Annually they hold a 5k walk/run. They find many individuals/businesses to sponsor them and it's one of their largest fundraisers of the year. When April had reached out to me, the CAC still hadn't had their large sponsor. The business who takes this highest level of sponsorship got naming rights for the race and their business would be featured throughout the race. April had the idea of reaching out to our friends and family and having a fundraiser. If we could collect the amount of money needed together we could have the race named after Zachary. My first thought was WOW, how amazing. My second thought was, no way can we pull that off! I committed to at least asking. I put together an email and sent it out.
Within the hour my mom called me. She had talked to my dad and she said "we will sponsor the race!" Shocked… I couldn't believe it! As simple as that, they made the incredible gesture of sponsoring the race! We got our wish, the race would be named in honor of Zachary!
"The Mangiaracina Family Remembering Zachary present Moonlight 5k Walk/Run"
After that it was all history. We went to work asking friends and family to support the race, come, and sponsor us. Family and friends from NY and VA traveled to PA to be there for the big day. The weather was cold and rainy. Somehow the rain stopped before the event began and it started as soon as it ended. I think Zachary was looking over us. Regardless of the weather is was a beautiful event. I got the opportunity to share Zachary and his memory with many people. After the event was over we were told that it was their best year to date. I attribute the success to the love of Zachary.
Another surprise was my friend Kim Winey offered to come to the event and photograph it for us. She captured the spirt of the day. She is such a talented photographer who has an incredible heart. I was fortunate enough to know Kim when all of my children were babies. She photographed each of them. I love that Kim was able to be there and celebrate this day with us.