Happenings Lifestyle Sports

Annual ‘Johnny’s Jog for Charity’ Returning to West Hartford’s Blue Back Square

Johnny's Jog founders (from left): Laura Moran, Kelly Clark, Dan Clark, Dan Moran. Johnny's Jog for Charity. March 26, 2023.. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

The St. Patrick’s Day-themed ‘Johnny’s Jog for Charity’ 5K, which supports local nonprofit children’s organizations, will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2024, in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square.

Johnny’s Jog for Charity. March 26, 2023.. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)


Lace up your sneakers and get ready to run, walk, jog or dance to the sounds of bagpipes and local bands “Acoustic Marshpit” and “MARMO.” This event is more than just your average 5K.

Make sure you come early to watch Irish Step Dancers from Mulcahy Academy, play a game of Gaga in an inflatable pit donated by the Farmington Valley YMCA, take a mini music lesson from “School of Rock,” sip on some hot chocolate or coffee donated by the Dunkin Donuts GAD Franchisee, and take a couple pictures in the photo booth donated by Friends of Feeney. Don’t forget to come dressed to impress in your best “Irish Garb” because you might even win a prize!

Festivities kick off at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2024 in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square. The 5K start is 10:30 a.m., with the start and finish both on Isham Road in Blue Back Square.

Johnny’s Jog for Charity. March 26, 2023.. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Once the race is over, join your fellow joggers at Rockledge Grille for an auction and after-party. Both the race and the auction will be offered virtually as well. Information for the virtual options are available through social media and the Johnny’s Jog website.

Founded by West Hartford residents Dan and Kelly Clark and Dan and Laura Moran, Johnny’s Jog for Charity, Inc. is inspired by the incredible, brave life of a young boy, Johnny Moran. Johnny was born with a rare and debilitating condition. The unwavering love and support provided by generous individuals and organizations helped Johnny fight every challenge thrown his way.

To celebrate Johnny’s resilience and strength during his nine inspirational and smile-filled years, Johnny’s Jog for Charity plans to bring the community together yet again to celebrate Johnny’s life and give back to deserving non-profit children’s organizations. Founder Laura Moran says, “It is incredible to watch the continued growth of this event! It has taken off in all directions with generous support from sponsors, donors, participants and countless volunteers. We are truly amazed and so grateful. Johnny was the sweetest ray of light, so to see his heart continue to shine through Johnny’s Jog, and the local children and families that in turn benefit, is very fulfilling.”

Johnny’s Jog for Charity. March 26, 2023.. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Johnny’s Jog for Charity has raised over $700,000 for local children’s organizations since 2011. Last year, Johnny’s Jog raised $95,000 for a number of charities which benefit the lives of local children annually and depend on donations to do so. These charities include: Covenant Preparatory School of Hartford which provides tuition-free middle school to boys from underserved families in the City of Hartford in order to help them graduate academically prepared for further education. The Miracle League of Connecticut which fosters community and provides 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. Finally, 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. To spread the love even further, Johnny’s Jog added a fourth rotating, “Clover Club” beneficiary in 2020. Trinity Academy of Hartford, an independent tuition-free elementary school serving Hartford children and their families, is this year’s beneficiary. Their mission is to educate students in nurturing and inclusive environments with a focus on intense academics, the arts, and socio-economic learning.

Johnny’s Jog would like to thank NBT Bank for being our exclusive Grand St. Patrick’s Club sponsor showing impressive community support after being a sponsor for several years!

Register online now through event day. When registering, you will have the option to be timed. Online, early registration is strongly encouraged to lessen wait times at the event.

Johnny’s Jog is offering early packet pick-up on March 22 from 3-6 p.m. at West Hartford Town Hall for those hoping to avoid lines the day of the event. Registration is $40 for both online and day-of registration, but only those who register in advance are guaranteed a t-shirt. Day-of registrants will be required to register electronically using a QR code at either a kiosk or through their phone prior to checking in.

To register for the 5K, make a donation, or learn more about sponsorships, visit: www.johnnysjog.com. For Johnny’s Jog gear is also available online.

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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