New Jersey Ajvar 5K Run/ Walk Unites Community for a Great Cause

On Sunday, October 16, 2016, the local Macedonian-American community in New Jersey came together to support the 2nd Ajvar 5K Run/Walk at Danhert’s Lake County Park in Garfield, New Jersey. Organized by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the race attracted over 80 participants and 33 different sponsors and donors. The title sponsors of the event, MAMA’s Traditional Recipes and APS Contractors, Inc., contributed a great deal to the event’s success.

Proceeds from this event as well as the other three races held nationwide (Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles, California, and Washington, D.C.) will go towards Emanuil Plus, an organization in Bitola, Macedonia that provides support for children with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and various other neurological disorders. Our goal is to raise enough funds to cover one full year of operating expenses.

NJ Ajvar 5K participants entered beautiful Danhert’s Lake County Park and were greeted by race volunteers who provided the runners with their race bag, t-shirts (that were “Made in Macedonia” by Maria DiBiaggio), and a delicious jar of MAMA’s Ajvar (upon completion of the 5K). Following registration, zumba instructor Marina Tasevska gave participants a 30-minute Zumba warm up session.

CONGRATULATIONS to our race medal recipients!

1st Male: Alexander Petreski
1st Female: Danielle Fenning

2nd Male: Marek Wojciech
2nd Female: Angelique Rangel

3rd Male: Daniel Bauloski
3rd Female: Vesela Nikolovski

Following the winners ceremony, there was a raffle with items such as gift certificate by Road Runner Sports for a free pair of running shoes, Certificates for 30-minute deep tissue massages and 60-minute 1-on-1 training provided by Team Wellness and Massage Center, swimming cap signed by official Macedonian Olympic swimmer at Rio 2016, Anastasija Bogdanoski (who attended and volunteered) and Kids T-shirts by DiBiaggio NY.

The event also boasted a wonderful post-race atmosphere, where there was some homemade and delicious kifli provided by Shop Express and fruit. Following the race, participants headed to Bistro399, a local Macedonian owned restaurant, where they were able to enjoy traditional Macedonian cuisine, such as Stipska Pastrmajlia, Shopska salad, etc.

On behalf of the entire New Jersey Ajvar 5K planning committee, a big thank you goes out to all of our sponsors, participants, and volunteers. Without your commitment this event would not have been possible. It was truly amazing to see the New Jersey community come together to create positive change for those who need it the most. Our collective global society benefits most when we as people all come together for a common cause. 

We look forward to planning future events that will continue to inform, support, and unite Macedonians around the globe.

Special gratitude to our sponsors: (Title Sponsors) Mama's Traditional Recipes and APS Contractors, Inc.; (Platinum Sponsors) Team Wellness and Massage Center and GL Group Inc.; (Gold Sponsors) DiBiaggio NY, One7eents, Insurox Agency and Globe Logistics; (Silver Sponsors) Firehouse Restaurant, Bistro399, Aqua-Therm Plumbing and Heating LLC, Law Offices of Kristina C. Iftindzioski, LLC, Gibraltar Bank, and Shop Express; (Bronze Sponsors) Road Runner Sports, Ohrid Travel Agency, Marina Tasevska (Zumba), Trend Tea and Coffee, Z Transportation, Café Lounge Bubamara, Margita Sambevski and Tatiana Erekovcanski; (Friends of Ajvar 5K) Pinots Palette, Hristina Petrovska, Vesela Nikolovski, Alex Matovski, Suzana Petrovski, Natasa Ristevska, and Blagoja Petreski. 

Special thanks to our planning committee and volunteers: Ana Dukoska, Juliana Koloska-Bogatinoska, Donka Ilieski, Vera Arsova, Alexis Zickafoose, “Vegeta Girls” – Jasmina Dimitrovska, Angelina Maleska, Natalie Koloski and Sanja Dimoska; Onur Edipov and Anastasia Bogdanovski. 

By: Ana Dukoska, UMD New Jersey Regional Representative and Ajvar 5K NJ Race Director