Annual ‘Johnny’s Jog for Charity’ 5K Returns as Live Event in West Hartford

Johnny’s Jog for Charity. March 24, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The St. Patrick’s Day-themed ‘Johnny’s Jog for Charity’ 5K will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square.

By Ronni Newton

Johnny’s Jog for Charity will return to West Hartford’s Blue Back Square on March 27 as a live, in-person, 5K event for the first time in three years.

The annual Johnny’s Jog for Charity 5K set records for participation and fundraising in 2019, but what would have been the 10th annual Johnny’s Jog for Charity in March 2020 was canceled amid the shutdown of activity in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Johnny’s Jog was reimagined as an “It’s Your Place. Your Pace” virtual event.

On March 27, 2022, beginning at 10:30 a.m., participants will still be able to run or walk at their own pace for the 3.1-mile course, accompanied by bagpipers as well as the local bands “Acoustic Marshpit” and “MARMO,” and will also be able to gather together for other activities in Blue Back Square.

Irish Step Dancers from Mulch Academy will perform, the Farmington Valley YMCA has donated a Gaga pit, School of Rock will offer mini music lessons, and there will be hot chocolate and coffee available thanks to the Dunkin Donuts GAD franchisee. Friends of Feeney is sponsoring a photo booth as well – and participants are invited to dress up in their best Irish garb, and may even win a prize.

Following the 5K, an auction and after party will be held at Rockledge Grille.

As an option, the race can be run virtually this year, and the auction is also available online.

Johnny’s Jog organizers (from left): Kelly Clark, Dan Clark, Dan Moran, and Laura Moran. Courtesy photo

Laura Moran and her husband, Dan Moran, and their friends and fellow West Hartford residents Dan and Kelly Clark, started the 5K fundraising event in 2011. Since then, more than $500,000 has been raised for local charitable organizations that benefit children.

“After 2 years of universal uncertainty, we are thrilled to be back for an in person event this March,” Laura Moran said. “We feel an enormous amount of support behind us, maybe more than ever. We are just so grateful and excited to make the 2022 Johnny’s Jog for Charity 5K and Auction a huge success!”

Johnny’s Jog for Charity is much more than a road race. It was inspired by the incredible, brave, but sadly brief life of Laura and Dan Moran’s son, Johnny, who was born in 2007 with Wieacker Wolff Syndrome, a rare and debilitating condition. Johnny passed away in April 2016, but the organization and race founded in his honor continue to celebrate his resilience, strength, and positive attitude, and bring the community together.

The beneficiaries of the race are all children’s-related nonprofits, and include Covenant Preparatory School of Hartford, which provides tuition-free middle school to boys in underserved families in the City of Hartford in order to help them graduate academically prepared for further education (www.covenantprep.org); the Miracle League of Connecticut, which fosters a community and sports facilities that remove all barriers so young athletes with unique needs are able to join their friends and experience the joy and triumph of team sports in their purest form (www.miracleleaguect.org); and the Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation which helps finance the purchase of much-needed medical supplies or services when insurance is exhausted and other social programs are unavailable (www.mollytango.org). These organizations benefit the lives of countless children annually and depend on communal donations to do so.

In 2020, Johnny’s Jog added a fourth, rotating charity, termed a “Clover Club Charity.” Hartford’s Camp Courant (www.campcourant.org) – the oldest and largest free summer day camp – will be this years’ Clover Club Charity.

​For complete details about the event, including links to register and donate, click here.

Johnny’s Jog is thankful to their St. Patrick’s Club sponsors: For the Love of Amy, Wellspring Psychological Services, NBT Bank, Tokio Marine HCC D&O Group, Hoffman Auto Group, Connecticut Ear Nose and Throat Associates, PC, Dunkin Donuts GAD Franchisee, May Bonee & Clark Insurance, Topo Chico and Coors Light sold by Star Distributors, and the Beachland Group for making this event possible.

Registration is available online through 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, 2022, and registrants have the option of being timed. Organizers strongly encourage online registration to facilitate social distancing in registration lines on the day of the event. Registration is $35 in advance and $40 on the day of event. Those registering on the day of the the event will still need to use a QR code at a kiosk or through their mobile phone in advance of check-in.

For event updates, follow Johnny’s Jog for Charity on Facebook or Instagram (@johnnysjog). Johnny’s Jog gear can also be found online here.

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