More than 300 participants crossed the finish line at HAVEN Free Clinic’s sixth annual 5K race at New Haven’s Edgewood Park this Sunday.
The student-run HAVEN Free Clinic partners with a variety of Yale’s professional schools — including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing — to provide primary care for uninsured and underserved members of the New Haven community. Sascha Murillo MED ’19, executive director of HAVEN Free Clinic, said that the organization’s annual race increases the clinic’s presence in the community. The race is also HAVEN’s largest source of fundraising and helps the clinic expand its services in the city.
“It’s a way for us to raise awareness about the existence of our clinic,” Murillo told the News. “It’s a fun way to get the community involved.”
This year’s race raised $40,600 — an increase from the approximate $27,000 that the event raised last year. Nicholas Wilcox MED ’19, an organizer of the event, said the race was record-breaking in terms of both participants and fundraising. The money HAVEN raises from the event represents approximately 70 percent of the clinic’s operating budget, according to Wilcox.
Twenty-seven local organizations and businesses, including Blue State Coffee, SHiFT Cycling & Balance and Yale New Haven Health sponsored the race.
After the race, participants — a mix of Yale students and members of the New Haven community — enjoyed music, pizza and other refreshments on the warm Sunday morning. Attendees interviewed noted a variety of reasons for running the 5K.
Clementina Yazdani, the winner of the 50+ Women’s category and representative of sponsor Executive Cleaners, said she and her daughter ran the race to show support for HAVEN and the organization’s mission.
“We felt that since we were sponsoring the event, we should also run,” Yazdani said. “We’re all about giving back to the New Haven community.”
Archie Rajagopalan ’19, said she thought the race was for a “good cause” and would be “fun.”
Elizabeth Silvers NUR ’19, a member of the junior clinical team at HAVEN Free Clinic, praised the race for attracting a wide span of New Haven residents, ranging from Yale students to Edgewood residents.
“I think this race has done so much for the clinic,” Silvers said. “I think it’s so beautiful that so many different facets of New Haven came together to support this.”
HAVEN Free Clinic was founded in 2005.
Aakshi Chaba | firstname.lastname@example.org