HomeBensalem TimesNOVA’s annual NO BULLying Run raises $40K

NOVA’s annual NO BULLying Run raises $40K

Proceeds support anti-bullying programs in local schools

Bill Gaboda of Yardley, a NO BULLying Run participant in the 70-79 age category, poses with his award certificate for logging the most miles in his age category.

NOVA’s 10th annual NO BULLying Run took place in October to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month and raised $40,000, it was recently announced.

The yearly event raises awareness about the effects and consequences of bullying and funds NOVA’s efforts to combat bullying through both school-based and virtual education programs.

Participants ran, walked, rolled and strolled on courses of their own choice throughout Bucks County to reach the goal of 22,208 miles collectively. Each mile represents one child who will be bullied in Bucks County this year, according to statistics from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

In addition to the virtual run, two community events were held at local businesses to bring awareness to the benefits of being an “upstander,” a person who recognizes when something is wrong and does something to make it right.

In October, NOVA partnered with Yogamazia in Richboro for a free family yoga session. The program focused on the benefits of yoga and spreading kindness. Also in October, Action Karate in Jamison joined NOVA for a family karate class that focused on being an upstander, using martial arts and roll play with attendees.

Age categories for participants in the NO BULLying Run were: 10 and under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80 and up. The following individuals logged the most miles in their age division:

– Holden Tobin (10 and under)
– Sophia Pearlman (11-19)
– Holly O’Malley (20-29)
– Amber Kolenbrander (30-39)
– Stephanie Savastano (40-49)
– Cindy Fairchild (50-59)
– Susan Bennett (60-69)
– Bill Gaboda (70-79)
– Jack Young (80+)

Bull trophies were awarded to Savastano, of Perkasie, and Sandra Herran, of Miramar, Florida, for logging the most miles throughout the month of October. Everyone who participated received an orange Upstander bracelet to show their commitment to end bullying.

Penn Community Bank was the event’s title sponsor for the seventh consecutive year. Munich Re was the event’s diamond sponsor for the third year. The following businesses also offered their support: Stark & Stark; Foundations Community Partnership; Franconia Insurance and Financial Services; O’Day Orthodontics; Simply Fresh by McCaffrey’s; The Learning Experience Doylestown; EC Fence & Ironworks, Inc.; Grim, Biehn and Thatcher; Friends of Tina Davis; Ascensus; Yogamazia; Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters; Nico’s Pizza of Jamison; Quakertown National Bank; Colmar Dentistry for Kids; Valdel Plumbing; Bucks County Gardens; Rick Bodine Services, LLC; Kadan Orthodontics; Doylestown Health Foundation; St. Luke’s Penn Foundation; Kershaw & Fritz Tire Service, Inc.; Circle Speech Services; Begley, Carlin and Mandio, LLP; Action Karate; G Sims & Associates; Elmwood Park Zoo; Merck; Shoprite of Yardley.

“At NOVA, we believe that education is the key to prevention,” said Michelle Cash, director of development, NOVA. “For more than 35 years, NOVA’s staff have been providing free prevention education programs to tens of thousands of students on topics such as personal safety, healthy relationships, harassment, cyberbullying and bully-free classrooms.

“The funds raised at the 10th annual NO BULLying Run will allow us to provide programs that are innovative, supportive, age-appropriate and help young people build safety awareness, develop self-advocacy skills and recognize resources available to them. In 2022, as a result of fundraisers like this and generous donors, NOVA provided nearly 500 prevention education programs to over 12,000 students.”

Visit NOVABucks.org for more information.

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