Sean Fischel Connect 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run is Sunday, Nov. 8

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A sea of blue shirts with the phrase “Hope, Love, Community” will be gracing the fields at Moorestown High School and William Allen Middle School on Sunday, Nov. 8. The day aspires to bring the Moorestown community together for a good cause and to celebrate the life of Moorestown’s Sean Michael Fischel, who passed away in 2013 from the rare disease hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

The community is invited to come out and celebrate community, family and Sean Fischel’s life, as well as help many local causes, at the Sean Fischel Connect 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run on Sunday, Nov. 8. Registration starts at 11 a.m. at WAMS and it is $25, plus a $2.50 sign up fee, to participate. The day will not only host the races, but a fun, family friendly block party.

“Seeing a sea of blue, all of the kids wearing Sean’s favorite color, it is like Sean is there smiling down on us. It is all about connecting with people and being able to give back to the community who has helped us in such a positive way; it is extremely rewarding,” Kim Fischel of Sean Fischel Connect said.

Money from the Sean Fischel Connect 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run will go toward Dr. Edward Behrens’, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, research with HLH, as well as the Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation and Moorestown Public Library.

“It is very satisfying, helping make strides in saving children’s lives. And people don’t realize how much these local services are needed,” Kim said.

The non-profit Sean Fischel Connect was started to honor the memory of Kim’s son Sean who lost his life in January 2013 after battling HLH. Sean Fischel Connect’s mission is for the charitable purpose of supporting children’s health and well being, encouraging them to connect and appreciate the impact they have on others and to raise awareness and funding for the research and treatment of childhood diseases.

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The Sean Fischel Connect 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run was started by Kim and a team of six other women, Robin Rothman, Tara Hinshillword, Michelle Banfe, Julie Shawaryn, Faith Holmgren and Tracy Ferguson, a few months after Sean’s passing to help Kim as well as the community celebrate Sean’s life and have some closure.

“It felt like the entire community was rallying around me when he was sick. It was just a way to say ‘thank you’ to everyone, channel our energy and honor Sean in some way,” Kim said.

All of the women worked together to get the race up and running near Sean’s birthday on Oct. 10. The 5k and Fun Run garnered more than 1,000 people, more than they ever imagined.

“We thought it would be tiny and then it turned out, the day of the race, over 1,000 people came,” Ferguson said.

“It was truly a team effort,” Kim said.

Last year, about 865 people came to the event and Sean Fischel Connect would love to get around that number of people to come for this year.

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This year the race is being held on Nov. 8 and registration and the block party at WAMS due to construction being done on some of the track and fields at MHS. Registration starts at 11 a.m. The 1 Mile Fun Run starts at noon, walking on the real cross country course this year, and the 5k will follow after, at around 12:30 p.m. Those who are running will receive a t-shirt and medal, all new for this year.

The block party will host a live DJ named DJ Bishop; food made from local residents as well as donated by businesses like Bacio Catering & Marketplace and Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse; an obstacle course from Exit 4 Bootcamp; eye blacks for kids; and event photographer Noelle Roberts.

Everything is donated and free for attendees to enjoy.

“The emphasis is not on the run. The emphasis is on the afterward, hanging out and being a part of the community, making those connections and eating the amazing, delicious donated food,” Kim said.

“It is a fun day. The most fun environment I’ve been at,” Ferguson said.

Everyone is asked to wear blue, as it is Sean’s favorite color. Strollers are allowed at the event, but please no dogs.

For more information and to sign up before the day of the event go to www.seanfischelconnect.org.