11th Annual Zoe’s Race helps make homes accessible

It was a gorgeous Sunday morning as Zoe’s Race celebrated its 11th anniversary on Sunday, August 25, at Oakledge Park in Burlington. To mark the occasion, the family-friendly event offered a 1K fun run, a 5K run/walk and a 10K run, along with a raffle, music, and prizes.

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, registration for the 1K Fun Run was FREE for children 17 and younger. Additional sponsors include Bio-Medic, Gravel & Shea Attorneys at Law, Karen Allen Law, NBT Bank, and the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. As in past years, the Hokum Brothers entertained runners at the start of each race and throughout the morning. Over 250 runners participated this year.

The idea for the race was sparked in 2009, when Erika Nestor began a remodeling project to make her home accessible for her daughter Zoe who had a near drowning accident when she was 18 months old. Erika was thankful that she was able to make her home accessible, but worried about other families that may not be so fortunate. She teamed up with Howard Center and Zoe’s Race was born.

The event has raised more than $200,000 with support from numerous local businesses and individuals and has completed 23 home accessibility projects. Home modifications have a lasting impact on the daily lives of Howard Center clients and their families. One mother and recent recipient said, “Our family is grateful for the support provided to remodel our bathroom. My son now has the necessary accommodations he needs and it literally has been life-changing.”

In addition to the runners, walkers, and sponsors who contribute to the event, numerous local businesses provide services and materials for the projects. Since its inception, architect Chris Brown of brown + davis design and contractor Rob Peeters of Second Gen Builders, LLC have made substantial contributions of time and talent.

Results from the race are now online.

For more information, visit www.howardcenter.org or www.zoesrace.org.