NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton Airport will temporarily shut down on the morning of Sunday, April 28 to host the Runway 5K, a charity race to support Treehouse Foundation, a collaborative nonprofit organization dedicated to reimagining what foster care looks like.

“The money raised in the race all stays in the Pioneer Valley,” said Jenneke Reynolds, a volunteer member of the foundation’s development committee. “It’s used to enhance Treehouse’s programming for kids who have been in the foster system. We used to do multiple fundraisers throughout the year, but now we really focus on this race.”

At press time, the race is at capacity and the foundation has met 80% of its $110,000 fundraising goal.

“We are super excited to have Greenfield Savings Bank as a major sponsor this year, and we also have gotten a lot of support from small local businesses and community members,” said Reynolds.

“Growing up, a lot of people helped us out along the way. We are eager to pay it forward and help rally the community to support foster care innovation,” said Bob Bacon, owner of Northampton Airport.

Race day at the airport will be a busy one, filled with excited runners, cheering spectators and volunteers ready to make the event run smoothly.

“On race day, we will have volunteers showing people where to park near the airport. Runners will start at one end of the runway then continue on a marked, flat course, ending up back on the runway,” explained Reynolds. “Spectators can cheer along the way, or check out the planes on display. Weather permitting, there will be WWI training biplanes, tail draggers, acrobatic planes and other single-engine and twin-engine planes out for display and for photo opportunities.”

Started in 2002, Treehouse Foundation looks to find new ways to improve the lives of the children in foster care through intergenerational communities and national advocacy. The foundation intentionally brings in adults who were in foster care to discuss child welfare.

“The Treehouse model is earning national recognition and is expanding to a Boston area site,” noted Reynolds. “Treehouse also hosts trauma-informed workshops for local educators, which helps make our schools a better place for all kids.”

“Bringing the community together is central to what we do to support kids every day.” explained Judy Cockerton, founder and CEO of the Treehouse Foundation.

The race begins at 9 a.m. at Northampton Airport, located at 160 Old Ferry Rd. in Northampton. For more information, visit treehousefoundation.net.

Tina Lesniak
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