Jerseyans brave cold for a cause to benefit Special Olympics


Weehawken hosted a 5K Run on Sunday to benefit the Special Olympics of New Jersey.

The South Tube of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for the race and those, including  many first-timers, came out bright and early to run.

“Looks fun, interesting and I’m able to run it,” says 10-year-old Camila, who came to the race with her mom.

“No, this is not my first time out here, I’ve come before with my wife but this is my actual first time running,” says Charles Mclean, of Jersey City. “It’s something very special to my wife, Special Olympics too — so I wanted to be a part of that with her as well.”

“We want to definitely participate, it’s a great cause,” says Belleville resident, Sandra Tracy, who ran for the first time with her Columbian friend who’s a runner and wanted to experience a United States race.

“I’ve run quite a few years,” says Anthony Morris, of Secaucus.  “Great cause and to raise money for great people for the Special Olympics.”

According to Dawn Hudacko, her company runs a walk-run club and they sponsor the Special Olympics.

“So I wanted to be here,” the Carteret resident says.

It’s Orlando Velez’s second year at the race and he wanted to show his support.

“To raise money for the Special Olympics,” Velez says.

“It definitely hits home some places, ya know we do know some people who are affected so we want to give back,” says a Sayreville resident, who brought her son Jesse.

“We want to raise money for the Special Olympics and help others,” the 11-year-old says.

“This is my first 5K so I’m somewhat nervous but the cause is a very good cause and I have my friends with me and I’m psyched,” says Yolanda Ford, of Mahwah.

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis


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