Notable CT Runners at Upcoming STAR Walk & 5K Run

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Notable Connecticut runners including Chaz Davis, Amy Dixon and James Randon will all be at the 11th Annual STAR Walk and 5K Run at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport on Sunday, May 1.

On hand at the event:

  • Chaz Davis 4-21-16

    Paralympic athlete Chaz Davis

    Chaz Davis, a paralympic athlete, was stricken with Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy that eventually led to blindness but did not cease his running or studies at University of Hartford.

  • Amy Dixon, a UCONN grad, is a paratriathlete for Team USA who has done inspirational speaking and hosted conferences for Challenged Athletes Foundation and organizations for the blind.
  • James Randon, a New Canaan native, has already shattered historic running records as a student at Yale University, breaking the four-minute mile barrier.

The Walk, Run & Roll will also include appearances by Miss Connecticut USA Tiffany Teixeira, Miss Teen Connecticut USA Katy Brown, the Marvin Dancers, STORM of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Hockey Team, Steve Avitabile Musician, children’s activities and demonstrations by Earthplace of Westport FUNBUS, and Painted You (face painting and air brush tattoos).

Amy Dixon 4-21-16

Amy Dixon (at left), a Connecticut paralympic athlete

The event, which includes a 5K Run option this year, will kick off at 10 a.m. with a 5K run and 1K  routes suitable for any ability (walkers, strollers, wheelchairs and baby joggers are welcome).  Attendees can enjoy the demonstrations, cultural and community activities, continental breakfast and lunch, as well as the walk itself.

The “Walk, Run & Roll” event is a family fun day that celebrates all abilities and is a major annual fundraiser to benefit programs for STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way that benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. About 800 participants and volunteers are expected to attend.

“This event has grown to become one of the yearly favorites for our clients and their families and friends because it is so special,” said Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR.

“It is also a very important event that raises critical funds to sustain our programs that face economic challenges and state budget cuts,” she said. “We are excited to add the 5K Run to the day that should introduce STAR to even more friends in the community.”

James Randon running 4-21-16

James Randon of New Canaan, a Yale athlete

Registration begins at 9 a.m.

The event raises funds for programs serving infants, children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Norwalk, Westport, Weston, Wilton, New Canaan and Darien. STAR, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization, has been based in Norwalk since 1952.

The registration fee for walkers and runners is $25. Children/students under 18 are $15 and those under age 5 are free. A family of runners and walkers can register for $65. For more information, visit the STAR web site or call Megan Johnson at STAR at 203-846-9581 ext 339. Participants are encouraged to set up their own fundraising team for the walk by registering online here.

Volunteers and Sponsors

Sponsors for the event include: Honda of Westport, People’s United Bank, Doree and Robert Levy, John and Mary Lee Danaher, People’s United Insurance, Bankwell, the Piorkowski family, MBI, Bartlett Tree Experts, Callari Auto Group, the Bosworth family, Charles Berg, Garavel Subaru and Gen Re.

Amy Dixon medals 4-21-16

Amy Dixon, right, bemedaled.

In-Kind Sponsors include Stop & Shop, Miggs B Design, Miguel Cruz Photography, PEPSI, Fresh Market, New York Bakery, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Markets, Village Market, Panera, ChalkTalk, HiTek Racing, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Steve Avitabile Music, Earthplace and Massage Envy.

The event relies on the tremendous help of volunteers from Norwalk High School, Weston High School, Fairfield Prep, Norwalk Community College and People’s United Bank, as well as many individuals.

About STAR Inc.
Chaz Davis runner 4-21-16

Chaz Davis

STAR Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization serving individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families.  STAR creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy while  informing and encouraging the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals.

For more information about STAR or to learn more about individual and corporate volunteer opportunities, visit or contact Megan Johnson at 203-846-9581 x339.

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