Forty runners lined up on Canal Street at Neville Park for the Moriches Community Center’s 2022 Anthony Parlato Memorial 5K Run/Walk on June 4.
James Mintel and Helena Roy were declared the overall winners of the race, which raised nearly $10,000 for the center’s youth programs, according to its website.
The event, now in its 19th year, was renamed in honor of Parlato after his death in 2013. The local basketball coach was an integral part of the community center when it was formed over two decades ago and became its vice president.
“The community center has been around for 22 years and Anthony was one of our founders,” Kathleen Johnson, executive director of the Moriches Community Center, said. “He was the lifeforce of the Moriches Community Center back in the beginning.”
“The older kids still talk about him and how he influenced their lives,” she added. “And a lot of them who were young and came up through the programs with Anthony now work for us. It’s really gratifying to see that.”
Alongside Johnson, under a tent, stood Parlato’s mother, Susan Parlato, who said she was pleased by the turnout of the race.
“I feel it’s great,” she said. “I see a lot of young people today.”
As the race began, runners jolted out to the front of the pack, while others jogged or walked, many of them pushing strollers or holding leashes. The event has many regular participants, including Gabrielle Comanda, who was joined by her mother, Lisa Comanda, and dogs, Portia and Oats.
“My brother actually knew Anthony Parlato; he was his basketball coach,” Gabrielle Comanda said. “So we always want to come out and support. Typically, the weather is nice and it’s a great cause.”
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