Ram Ranganath, on behalf of Om Foundation
Registration is now underway for the 2nd Annual Om Memorial 5K Run and 1M Walk that will be tak- ing place on Sunday, May 19th @ 7:30am at Thompson Park, Monroe, NJ – This event is being organized in memory of childhood cancer victim Om Parikh to help raise funds in support of the charitable ser- vices of the Om Foundation. To register please visit www.runsignup.com/Om. To learn more about the Om Foundation, sponsorship opportunities, and to support its philanthropic efforts, visit www.Smiles- ForOm.org
During his three years as a student at the Monroe Township Middle School, Om Parikh was well loved and popular. His teachers said there wasn’t a single child who didn’t know him. This love and popularity were evident at the Thompson park event last year, on May 20th, 2018, when nearly 1,500 people of all ages participated in a 5K Run and 1M Walk in memory of the 13-year old who lost his battle to brain cancer in February last year. Wearing green T-shirts, created by Om’s sister Yashaswi Parikh, people from Monroe and beyond showed up despite predictions of rain and a thunderstorm. As everyone got ready for the 1K walk, the sun brightened and skies cleared, symbolizing “Om smiling down upon the crowd,” the announcer noted. Middle-schoolers and volunteers held placards of encouragement while cheering the sea of green created by the walkers and runners throughout the course. Many were running for the first time. They celebrated their achievements while supporting pediatric cancer awareness and research, one of the foundation’s goals.
Last year’s Om Memorial 5K Run and 1M Walk was organized by Monroe Indians for Civic Action
(MICA) with the support of local organizations, Monroe Township Schools, Municipality and Middlesex County. It was a the team work of two and half months of extensive planning by MICA and the community at large. The day opened with Om’s favorite songs sung by students, a poster session on Cancer Awareness by Monroe Township Middle School, message from Mayor Tamburro, Teaching Staff and Principal of Middle School, School District Superin- tendent, Om’s Family and friends. The Middle School Chorus sang the National Anthem. The event exemplified the message of strength and optimism that Om brought to other students and the whole community.
Participants at the 1 mile walk at Thompson Park in Monroe, N.J., May 20th, 2018. Paresh Gandhi
The Om Foundation supports various programs and initiatives that bring smiles, positive attitudes, and the power of perseverance to school age children. It supports youth development and community engagement. The Om Foundation also provides financial and other assistance to children fighting cancer, as well as support for education and research that helps prevent or terminate childhood cancer.
Over the last year, the Om Foundation has helped many local families and children. It provided financial support to a Monroe family by covering the cost of medical insurances for the three children of the family, who lost their mother to cancer and whose father had been in a coma. It helped advanced the aspirations of a special needs gymnast in Monroe Township by covering the cost of private training and classes. The young lady went on to win 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal at the US Special Olympics. The Foundation also established the Om Parikh Memorial Award for Optimism at Monroe Township Middle School – this financial award will be presented annually to an 8th grade student who meets the criteria that exudes a positive attitude on a daily basis, encourages others–peers and adults–to be positive and optimistic, demonstrates an intrinsic desire to improve the world around him / her. The first award was given out in June 2018 to a deserving student at the MTMS. The Monroe Township Middle School (MTMS), in memory of Om Parikh, donated to the Hugs for Brady Foundation – a foundation dedicated to helping children with childhood cancers. The Monroe Township library was able to enhance its children and tween area through the support of the Om Foundation. The Foundation donated a huge LEGO table for kids to enjoy and painted a window mural in the tween area, displaying the love of learning and optimistic view that Om shared. The “Optimistic Om” mural, which adorns one of the walls at Monroe Township Middle School, was painted and signed by all of Om’s classmates and it was an outcome of a MTMS student project focusing on Positivity in Adversity.
We look forward to the support of the residents of Monroe Township and the neighboring communities in New Jersey and the event sponsors to make the 2nd Annual Om Memo- rial event on May 19th a grand success. We still have a lot to accomplish and we hope to do so with your support and encouragement.
1 Scenic Way, Monroe Township, NJ 08831 EIN # 82-4993198 (TAX EXEMPT NONPROFIT)