SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY – (March 10, 2016) Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced today that Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been named as a Medal of Honor title sponsor for the 2nd Annual Suffolk County Marathon and Freedom Fest which will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The announcement was made at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.
“I am proud that Catholic Health Services has joined us once again in our efforts to enhance local veteran services and programs throughout Suffolk County by becoming the title sponsor of this year’s marathon, half marathon and newly created 5k race.” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “We thank CHS for their continuous commitment to our local veterans as they played an integral role in last year’s event, which drew more than 3,500 runners. With their support, we expect those numbers to grow this year.”
“As the largest faith-based health system on Long Island, Catholic Health Services was honored to serve as race medicine provider for the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon last year,” said Alan D. Guerci, MD, President and CEO of Catholic Health Services. “Last year, CHS’ medical team included nearly 100 health professionals who ensured the well-being of more than 3,500 marathon participants. This year, we expect the event to be even larger and we are enthusiastically looking forward to our expanded role as both title sponsor and medical care provider.”
“Hunter EMS Ambulance is currently designing the EMS plan for the 2016 race, modeled after the successful strategic layout from the Inaugural Marathon,” said Dan Leibowitz, president of Hunter EMS Ambulance. “The joint efforts from the volunteer ambulance and fire departments along with the many police agencies, Catholic Health Services, Progressive Emergency Physicians and Hunter EMS proved that Suffolk County has the ability to utilize all of its resources to plan and be prepared for large scale events. We look forward working side-by-side with the CHS staff and having an opportunity to celebrate the appreciation that we all have for the Veterans of Long Island.”
As a title sponsor, Catholic Health Services will be included on all race related materials and featured in the Finish Line Festival area, and have their logo included on the start/finish race banners, mile markers, and on the front of all participant and volunteer t-shirts.
For the second consecutive year, Catholic Health Services will also be the official medical sponsor of the event and provide medical support to hundreds of runners last year, including medical tent services and field hospital operations.
“As a runner and the president of a large running organization, I know that the key to the success of any race is to make sure the race participants finish the race safely. With CHS on board, we can be sure of that,” said Mike Polansky, president of the Greater Long Island Running Club.
"The marathon is important to me as a veteran because all of the proceeds from the marathon go to assist veteran service organizations right here in Suffolk County,” stated Patrick Donohue, president of Project 9Line. “This county is great to its veterans, and Catholic Health Services' assistance is another example of that. The money that was raised last year is going to go a long way to help a lot of different veteran organizations. I want to thank Catholic Health Services, County Executive Bellone and the county as a whole for being the best place to be a veteran in the United States.”
The Inaugural Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon raised more than $160,000 for local veteran services. County Executive Bellone also announced that 19 local not-for-profit and service organizations have been selected by the Suffolk County Marathon Fund Disbursement Advisory Committee to receive funding designated for veteran services raised from last year’s inaugural event. Pending legislative approval, organizations will receive notification of their awards on Tuesday, March 22, The grants awarded will range in funding amounts from $2,000 to $23,600.
The Suffolk County Marathon Fund Disbursement Advisory Committee received nearly 50 applications and reviewed each grant application and ranked them based on a certain criteria, such as establishing a set of priorities and developing a list of objectives for veteran needs and services.
For more information on the race as well as sponsorship opportunities, visit www.suffolkmarathon.com, www.facebook.com/stevebellone or www.suffolkcountyny.gov.