Waffle Run a success
SUFFOLK COUNTY—On Saturday, July 21, the fundraising Waffle Run and Walk drew around 400 participants to the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville. Though this was the first year it was called the Waffle Run and Walk, the event has been taking place for the past 20-plus years and all to support research and programs to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Mark Casaburi, the owner of At Your Service, a staffing company, founded the run and has been keeping it going all these years. This year, in addition to the name, which is a reference to the hearty breakfast participants enjoy after the race, the proceeds now go to Team Boomer. The organization is named after famed football player Boomer Esiason, a former Islip Town resident, which also raises money to fight the disease through awareness while supporting the CF community.
“The event couldn’t have gone any better,” said Casaburi after the race. “We had a great turnout, the weather was nice and relatively comfortable for the run, and most importantly, we raised over $10,000 to benefit cystic fibrosis. So in over 21 years of this run we have raised over $210,000.”
The overall first-place winner was Dan Gargaro of West Islip, who won last year as well. He finished four miles in what Casaburi noted was an “amazing” time of 20.58. After the win, he was presented with a grand prize of an official NFL football signed by Esiason.
Gargaro is the manager of the Sayville Running Company, one of the event’s sponsors. “It was a great race,” he said. “It’s always a good event that I love going to.”
At the breakfast, a special quilt was raffled off to add to the proceeds of the day. Maureen Halliday spent months creating the quilt in memory of her daughter Erin Halliday Duffy, a local teacher who had passed away from cystic fibrosis.
The fundraiser will be held again next year to add to the coffers in the hope of finding a cure for the disease and helping those with CF. “Slow and steady wins the race,” noted Casaburi.
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