RED BANK — Citing potential inconvenience to residents and business owners, the Borough Council denied a request from Tower Hill Church to hold a fundraising run for the children of Haiti next spring that would travel through Red Bank.
The council rejected the request during a regular meeting Dec. 7. Prior to coming before the council, the proposal had been evaluated first by the borough special events committee, which includes Red Bank Police Chief Stephen McCarthy.
In a written memorandum to the council, McCarthy noted that while the event proposed would benefit “an extremely worthwhile cause and one that I personally support…as a matter of public safety and due to the disruption and inconvenience which the residents of Red Bank will experience, I must object to the race being held as proposed.”
McCarthy noted that a similar event, the George Sheehan Run, “has become a Red Bank tradition which would be difficult to discontinue.”
That being said, McCarthy continued, “I believe that to again inconvenience these residents by denying them access to their streets, homes, and businesses is too much to ask. These types of events generate a great amount of displeasure and complaints from the business owners and residents.”
“It’s an additional Saturday’s closing,” of streets, which has irritated merchants in the past as they deal with these types of events, said Mayor Pasquale Menna.
Adam Beacher, Rumson, is a member of Tower Hill Team Haiti, which organized the first fundraising run for the group that took place last April. He was unaware of the denial until contacted by The Two River Times.
“Certainly, it is unfortunate and we would like the opportunity to speak to them about it,” Beacher said.
When the event was held last year, about 315 runners and 40 volunteers participated and the organization raised roughly $18,000. The majority of the money went to four charitable organizations, including Aslan Youth Ministries, a Red Bank based organization that provides tutoring and mentoring to disadvantaged children in Red Bank, Long Branch and Asbury Park and also operates a mission in Haiti.
The organizers of the run hope to have the opportunity to address officials concerns, but failing that, will look for another location, probably on private property, so the race can be held, Beacher said.