April 15th, 2022: North Star Design Studio is proud to join Town Fair Tire, and Sound Runner as Partner Sponsors of LEAPs 2022Julia’s Run for Children. Proceeds from this event benefit Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership Inc. (LEAP), an academic, social enrichment and leadership training program for children and youth from high poverty neighborhoods in New Haven, CT.
“Having benefited from similar programs as a youth, I appreciate deeply the importance of LEAP-style programs and organizations.” Said Tara Meeker, owner of North Star Design Studio.
At 10 am on Saturday, April 30th, Julia’s Run will kick off in New Haven’s historic Edgewood Park. For the first time, Julia’s Run will take place in the beautiful and peaceful Edgewood Park, just off Whalley Ave in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood. Designed in 1910 by Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed NYC’s Central Park), the terrain of this new location will offer new challenges and opportunities for seasoned runners and novices alike. Registration for runners is open through the 30th.
North Star Design Studio and their fellow sponsors encourage participants to donate directly to LEAP at leapforkids.org and to register asap for the April 30th run online: https://runsignup.com/Race/CT/NewHaven/JuliasRunforChildren.
“It’s hard to understand the value of programs like these until you picture a community without them. Luckily, we don’t have to when so many amazing businesses like Town Fair Tire, Sound Runner and Hands On Moving and Storage step up with financial support” Meeker concluded.
About Julia’s Run for Children:
The event honors the life and work of Julia Rusinek, who was a student at Yale devoted to improving the lives of those in need. Proceeds from this event benefit Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership Inc. (LEAP), an academic, social enrichment, and leadership training program for children and youth from high poverty neighborhoods in New Haven, CT. In addition to the flagship 5k run, Julia’s Run will include a 2-mile walk, a free kids’ run, drinks, snacks, swag, prizes, and an awards ceremony.
Julia Rusinek died of an undiagnosed heart condition on July 15, 1999 at the age of 21. At the time of her death, she was a rising senior at Yale University. Julia was a gifted writer, an athlete, and, above all, a selfless humanitarian. As a college student, she dedicated her summers and any free time to working with or on behalf of underserved children. In her essay Run, Julia said, “as the humanist Leonardo Baruni wrote, ‘The whole glory of man lies in activity.’ Running is a beautiful thing.” To honor her passion for athletics and youth service, Julia’s Run welcomes children to its event, and all proceeds will go towards LEAP’s mission to support New Haven’s young people from low-income neighborhoods.
This year’s event will be the first in-person Julia’s Run since 2019, but the Rusinek family found creative ways to continue the tradition and celebrate Julia during the pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, Julia’s Run was held online via social media engagement, where supporters were asked to run, walk, bike, hike, or even swim 5Ks on their own, wherever they were. Participants shared images of their journeys on Facebook from as far as Nevada, California, and Mexico. Judith Muñoz Serlin posted, “I told stories about how Julia would have woken hours earlier and run 5 times as far, and then would have written a poem about the beautiful scenery. On our way back, we made up haikus in honor of our lovely Jules.”
For the first time, Julia’s Run will take place in the beautiful and peaceful Edgewood Park, just off Whalley Ave in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood. Designed in 1910 by Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed NYC’s Central Park), the terrain of this new location will offer new challenges and opportunities for seasoned runners and novices alike.
Julia’s Run 5k will be computer timed, and participants will be eligible for awards and prizes. All registrations must be completed online at https://runsignup.com/Race/CT/NewHaven/JuliasRunforChildren. The Rusineks also encourage participants to donate directly to LEAP at leapforkids.org. If you’d like more information on Julia and her memorial fund please visit www.leapforkids.org/julia-s-run
Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) was founded in 1992 by educators, students, and community activists to address the historic disinvestment in young people of color in our city. Then and now LEAP believes that young people have the intellect, enthusiasm, courage, and leadership potential to make real change. LEAP creates the space and marshals the resources so that young leaders can mentor, educate and care for the children of New Haven.
College and high school student counselors provide LEAP’s direct services to younger children. They help with homework, provide emotional support, lead classroom literacy instruction, and teach swim lessons, cooking classes and computer science.
Their work is not easy as the systemic challenges faced by LEAP families are significant:
The neighborhoods served by LEAP have child poverty rates ranging from 35% to 58%, more than three times the Connecticut average of 15%.
This is why LEAP prides itself on employing over 200 young people and supporting their efforts to graduate high school and get into and graduate from college. We count among our alumni school teachers and principals, nonprofit executives, elected officials, business leaders, and community organizers.
In our community center and five neighborhood-based sites, we provide children with a welcoming place to learn, explore and grow, while offering teens and young adults a platform to find their voice and become leaders and role models. Since our founding, LEAP has grown to become a trusted community institution serving and empowering over 1,000 local young people annually.