More than 700 walkers and runners with a wide range of abilities expected to participate in the 7th Annual O’Neill’s 5K run on May 19 to help the more than 3,000 people with disabilities served by Ability Beyond.
— an announcement from Ability Beyond
The nonprofit is a leading provider of independent housing, day programs, employment initiatives and other critical support services to clients throughout Connecticut and New York’s lower Hudson Valley.
For more than 60 years, Ability Beyond has upheld the dignity of individuals with developmental, intellectual, autism spectrum, acquired brain injury and mental health disabilities.
“Ability Beyond is extremely grateful to be the beneficiary of the 2019 O’Neill’s Annual 5K Run in Memory of Annie Curtin,” said President and CEO Jane Davis. “This year the race that was inspired by Annie will help empower people with disabilities to live full and rewarding lives.”
Annie passed away almost nine years ago; she was 6 1/2. To celebrate her life, Annie’s parents Paul and Kat Curtin, along with O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, established an annual fundraising event to help people in the community.
An Ability Beyond team comprised of staff members, clients and families will run or walk in the event.
“Parents of the individuals in our programs are always extremely supportive of our fundraising efforts that help their children go beyond what was ever imagined possible. Our greatest reward is to see the people we serve gain confidence, joy and hope as they realize their dreams,” Davis said.
The course for the May 19 road race in Norwalk is certified by USA Track & Field. It is mostly flat and runs through SoNo and East Norwalk, with a breathtaking view of the harbor at the halfway point. Runners will receive ChronoTrack’s disposable B-Tags to record their times and allow family and friends to track them live.
Participants of all ages may sign up as an individual or with a team. They will receive a T-shirt and a swag bag. All are invited to the after party at O’Neill’s Pub and Restaurant, 93 North Main Street, Norwalk, featuring a barbecue, awards, entertainment, beer and prizes.
“We look forward to this event both for the chance to extend our Irish warmth and hospitality and for giving back to the community by supporting causes about which we are passionate,” said Ollie O’Neill.
Register online, here or call 203-838-0222. The cost is $45 for adults the day of the race, with discounts for early registration and youth 11-19. Children 10 and younger are admitted without charge. Parking is in the public lot behind the cinemas (free on race morning), or on the streets in South Norwalk. The race begins at 11 a.m.
Runners and teams can create a fundraising page that allows friends and relatives to contribute online, here. Donations can be made to the event without registering to run.
There are still opportunities to become a sponsor:
• Event ($5,000)
• Start or Finish Line ($1,000)
• Halfway ($500)
• Water Stop, Kilometer or T-shirt ($250)
• Friend ($100)
For more information about sponsorships, call 203-826-3148 or email Mary Gregory at .
“The contributions of O’Neill’s, the Curtins, sponsors, runners, donors and volunteers will make the ‘Beyond’ in our name and our mission possible. This generosity will have a profound impact on the quality of life for hundreds of clients in our community” Davis said.
Ability Beyond is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Bethel, CT and Chappaqua, NY with locations in Norwalk and Bristol. It provides a wide range of services to more than 3,000 people with a disability that inhibits their activities of daily living including numerous residential alternatives, employment training, career counseling, job placement services, cognitive and life skills instruction, clinical and therapeutic support, and volunteer and recreational activities. Its services extend through Fairfield, New Haven, Litchfield, Middlesex and Hartford counties in Connecticut; and Westchester, Putnam and Duchess counties in New York. For more information about Ability Beyond, visit .