Howard Center’s Zoe’s Race Returns August 28

Burlington, VT— August 28 marks the return of Howard Center’s Zoe’s Race. The annual fundraiser helps local individuals and families who need support to make their homes accessible. The event includes a 1K fun run, a 5K run/walk, and a 10K run. Registration for the 1K fun run is free and includes a t-shirt.

To date, the event has raised more than $250,000 with support from numerous local businesses and individuals and has completed 32 home accessibility projects. Whether the modifications involve adding an entrance ramp, installing a stair lift, or modifying a bathroom, the improvements have a lasting impact in the daily lives of Howard Center clients and their families.

The mother of a child who received a recent Zoe’s Race project said, “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Zoe’s Race was able to find a contractor willing to take the necessary precautions to safely come into our home and create an accessible bathroom for my child. We are so grateful.”

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. Zoe uses a wheelchair because of a near drowning accident when she was 18 months old. During the process, the Nestors were surprised to learn that there were very limited funds available to assist families with remodeling costs related to accessibility. Although they were grateful that they were able to make their home accessible, they worried about other families who may not be so fortunate. Erika teamed up with Howard Center and Zoe’s Race was born.

The races begin and end at the upper pavilion in Oakledge Park. All three events run along the bike path and beautiful Lake Champlain. Following the races, participants will celebrate with great food and music by the Hokum Brothers.

Registration is discounted before the day of the race for the 5/10K and is free for the 1K. For more information or to register, visit Race results provided by 802Timing. Prizes will be awarded to overall top finishers and the top fundraiser. All 1K participants and age-group winners receive a medal.

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, many individuals and generous sponsors have made substantial contributions of financial support, time, and talent to help make homes accessible for those in need.

If you would like to get involved by becoming a sponsor or by volunteering at the event, please contact

For more information, please contact or visit



ABOUT HOWARD CENTER: Howard Center has a long and rich history as a trusted provider in the community. With a legacy spanning more than 150 years, we have been providing progressive, compassionate, high-quality care and supports to those in need. Today, we offer an array of exemplary mental health, substance use, and developmental services across the lifespan. As Vermont’s largest social service organization, our 1,600 staff help more than 19,000 people each year in over 60 locations throughout Vermont in collaboration with hundreds of community partners. Howard Center’s 24/7/365 crisis service, First Call for Chittenden County, is available to meet the needs of Chittenden County children, adults, and families in crisis by calling 802-488-7777. Help is here. A United Way of Northwest Vermont Funded Agency.