After 2-year hiatus, Project Community hosts Color Run to raise funds for its mental health programs

Project Community will be hosting its sixth annual Color Run fundraiser Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in support of its mental health programs. Following a kickoff party on Saturday and a parade on the morning of the run, participants will commence the 2.5-mile run through the streets of Pelham during which they will be doused with colored powder.

The Color Run is a highly-anticipated community-wide event—and even more so after two years of postponements due to the pandemic. The parade preceding the event will be led by State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and the national anthem will be performed by Matthew Polenzani. Participants will begin the run at 10 Westward Lane. Walter’s Hot Dog and ice cream trucks will be at the event.

“We’re reaching out because eventually we want our programs to be available to other communities as well,” said Dr. Anne Frost, founder and president of Project Community. “The Color Run is introducing us not only to people in our town but also to other towns as well. And it’s a fun event.”

The proceeds from the event provide a large part of the funding for several of Project Community’s youth health-related programs. One of its goals is to prevent health issues by giving interactive presentations led by professionals on topics such as self-awareness, anxiety and binge drinking to young people. The organization was started by a group of nurses 37 years ago that included Frost. 

“Our emphasis is on mental health primarily,” said Frost. “We have got wonderful programs that really address the gaps in knowledge. We just presented to the male varsity lacrosse team our program on binge drinking. If you have accurate knowledge about alcohol, then you can save a friend.” 

Since its establishment in 1985, Project Community’s programs have reached more than 70,000 children.

“During the pandemic, we realized that self awareness is an incredible, insightful way to learn about oneself and how we deal with issues in life,” said Frost. “Along with self awareness, you are better able to deal with anxiety if you understand what anxiety is and what (are) some of the strategies that can decrease anxiety. Our mission has always been to keep health issues from becoming big ones while they’re small. Do it on a community level, do it with friendly, easy to understand gaps in knowledge.”

Project CHILDD, Project Community’s oldest program, uses volunteer teen mentors to provide guidance and friendship to children with developmental disabilities by spending time with them and doing art and other activities. The mentors get the opportunity to learn about the disabilities and build personal friendships with their mentees.

The kickoff party for adults 21 and over will be held Saturday night at Westchester Collision in Pelham Manor. Westchester Collision is one of the event’s gold sponsors, along with Balance Yoga, Benchmark Education, Fassfoward, Meridian Realty, Meridian Risk Management and the Pelham Civics.

The run costs $40 for adults, $20 for children ages five to 17 and is free for those four and under.

Register for the run here.