April 4, 2023
EAST MEADOW, NY – Hundreds of local supporters are lacing up their sneakers to be part of the Friends of Karen team participating in The Jovia Long Island Marathon races, taking place on May 5, 6, and 7, 2023 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The Friends of Karen team is made up of employees of local Long Island companies and members of the community of all ages, including families helped by the organization. They are geared up to support Friends of Karen, the NY tri-state organization that assists families when their child is diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. This race team is crucial in helping to raise much-needed funds and awareness about the devastating impact pediatric cancer and other catastrophic illnesses have on a family’s life. 
Seventeen years ago, Evelyn Anderson launched this team to thank and give back to Friends of Karen for the support she received when her son, Luke, was diagnosed with leukemia. Today, the FoK team has grown from 25 participants to nearly 200 teammates, corporate sponsors, and more than 1,500 supporters throughout the country. This year’s event will include a 5K Night Walk/Run on Friday, May 5, a 10K and a 1K Fun Run on Saturday, May 6, a half and full marathon on Sunday, May 7, and a 3-day challenge equaling 22.4 or 35.5 Miles.
The funds raised by this team of supporters will directly benefit families assisted by Friends of Karen’s professional social workers, who provide a blend of emotional and financial support, including help with household bills when there is a loss of family income due to illness, and coverage of medical co-payments, prescriptions, hospital lodging costs, transportation to and from medical treatments, and so much more. Last year alone, Friends of Karen provided support to over 1,320 children and families.
“The concept of corporate social responsibility helps to promote positive social change and provides a great impact in our communities,” said Leslie Bellissimo, Regional Director of Friends of Karen. “We are so grateful for all those who plan to support our efforts. We encourage others to join our team and share in the joy when we all cross that finish line together for the hundreds of Friends of Karen children and their families, we help every day.”
FoK welcomes new walkers and runners, and corporations to join our team and share in the joy when we cross the finish line together to help support the hundreds of Friends of Karen children and their fragile families coping with the unimaginable challenges of their child’s illness.
For more information about Friends of Karen or to join the team, please call Lexi Latino at 631-473-1768 ext. 903 or