It’s waffle time again
The Waffle CF Run & Walk to help fight cystic fibrosis will take place Saturday, July 20.

Courtesy Photo

It’s waffle time again

Story By: ANTHONY PERROTTA
7/11/2019


WEST SAYVILLEAt Your Service staffing company is hosting its 22nd annual race on Saturday, July 20, to help fight cystic fibrosis. The event, which was renamed the Waffle CF Run & Walk in recent years, kicks off at the Long Island Maritime Museum on West Avenue, at 9 a.m. The course will head east, through south Sayville, and back to finish in front of the museum for brunch and other activities.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation, a Garden City-based organization that looks to combat the chronic disease.

Cystic fibrosis, which is genetic, affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide), according to the BEF. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. The mucus also obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.

About 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year in the U.S., according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. More than 75 percent of U.S. cases are diagnosed by age 2, and more than half of the CF population is 18 years old or younger.

Mark Casaburi, the proprietor of At Your Service staffing, has spoken with this publication in the past regarding the annual event, which includes a four-mile run or two-mile walk. Casaburi explained that the successful event began as an afternoon race followed by a barbecue. The event’s founder first became interested in raising money for CF while in college. He had spent summers working as a counselor at Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with various life-threatening issues.

Casaburi noted in the past that organizing the race, which garners about 450 runners and walkers, is time consuming and involves “a lot of legwork, paperwork and getting volunteers.”

Brendan Barrett, co-owner of the Sayville Running Company on Main Street, said he has participated in the race “a bunch of times” over the years. He didn’t have an exact number, but figured anywhere between 15 and 20.

Barrett remembers volunteering with the Key Club for his first run, while attending Sayville High School. “Since then, I’ve been either running or helping [the group] out in some way,” he added.

Dan Gargaro has come in first place the last two years, according to the event’s website. The clocked times include 20:35.9 and 20:58, respectively.

Gargaro, a West Islip resident, says he has participated in the event for the last five years, but doesn’t plan on running again this year. He first learned about the event while working at the Sayville Running Company and competing in the Sayville Summer Series, which includes a number of 5K events.

Register for the event at https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=20930.