Sept. 15 marks 10th year for Torrington’s Miles 4 Moe run/walk
TORRINGTON — Ten years ago, the Renzullo family found a way to celebrate the life of their special son by organizing a bike ride in September. Emil “Moe” Renzullo, 12, died in 2010 of leukemia.
Since then, the bike ride has evolved into Miles 4 Moe 5K Run/Walk, accompanied by a Harvest Fest, all at Camp MOE in Torrington. The event, set for Sept. 15 this year, supports the Miles 4 Moe Foundation, which supports Camp MOE, a summer day camp for children with and without disabilities; camperships for needy children to attend; families who have a child diagnosed with cancer; and hospitals and organizations that treat these children.
Back in 2010, Emil Renzullo was mourning his son and didn’t feel much like celebrating. But the bike ride seemed like a good idea.
“My wife, Colleen, is a cyclist, and she and her cycling friends wanted to do something to remember Moe,” Emil Renzullo said. “After Emil left us, our family was devastated. I didn’t do anything for three months. I didn’t work; I wasn’t sure if I could do anything anymore.”
After Colleen Renzullo began organizing the bike ride, Judy Theeb, then-principal at Southwest School in Torrington, contacted Emil Renzullo. “She said, ‘I’m not a runner, but I want do participate. What should I do?’ I said ‘I don’t know,’ and she said, ‘Find out.’ That was a kick for me to get involved. I’ve done it ever since.”
“It still amazes me that it’s going on,” he said. “Here we are, 10 years later, and time has gone by so quickly.”
The event averages between 200 and 300 runners annually. The foundation receives donations from businesses near and far as well as many residents who enthusiastically support its mission. To date, Renzullo said, about $16,000 has been raised for this year’s run/walk. “We start planning in January, and by April, we’re getting sponsorships and donations,” Renzullo said.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” he said. “Now it sells itself to people. They know about Moe, they know about the camp, and the donations just start coming in. Nine out of 10 times people make a donation when they’re asked. It’s wonderful. ... That’s what (Miles 4 Moe) is about, the kids, and the commmunity.”
The 5K run/walk will start and finish at Camp MOE, at 1145 Brandy Hill Road. The course includes paved and gravel roads. Both runners and walkers are welcome. Race-day registration runs from 8:30-9:45 a.m., and the race begins at 10 a.m.
Participants also can register online or download and mail the registration form from https://miles4moe.org. The race will be timed by Fast Track Timing.
The Harvest Fest will include a picnic lunch and tours of Camp MOE. This year’s silent auction includes Mohawk Mountain passes, local winery gift cards, golfing at four local courses, tickets to shows at three theaters, sporting goods, wine/liquor baskets and restaurant gift cards.
Emil “Moe” Renzullo was a camper at what was then Camp LARC, now Camp MOE, and spent some of his happiest days attending camp, according to his family. His father has found comfort and peace in participating in the many events and efforts surrounding Camp MOE, along with his wife and their daughter, Stephanie, a dedicated Camp MOE counselor and volunteer.
“I know Moe is looking down at us and saying, ‘That’s my camp,’ and he’s a happy guy,” Renzullo said. “Camp Moe and Miles 4 Moe is for everyone. It’s really a big part of Torrington now.”
For more information, visit https://miles4moe.org. Additional information about Camp MOE is available at www.campmoe.org. For more information about the festival, sponsorships and the auction, contact Emil Renzullo at the Miles for Moe Foundation at 860-459-4318 or email email@example.com