The Baci 5k 2020

Doylestown, PA (September 18, 2020) — In a time where many businesses in the service industry are struggling to stay afloat, a local restaurant went above and beyond to help a community and organization in need.

The first annual Baci 5K, named for Buckingham’s Baci Ristorante and The Heart of Oak Pub, benefited Simon’s Heart. Simon’s Heart is dedicated to raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest.

“The Baci family leaned in to help other people. This business in the hospitality industry said, ‘we still want to do more’,” said Darren Sudman, founder of Simon’s Heart.

The Sunday, September 13th, the Baci 5K 2020 took place around Lake Galena in Doylestown’s Peace Valley Park. Hosted by the nonprofit organization Sauers Cares, the event drew participants from as far as New York. Social distancing efforts and mask wearing permitted 100 runners and walkers to take the just over 3-mile trek.

“The Baci 5K ended up being one of the only live events in Bucks County this year. It was a great event for an amazing charity, and because of the generosity of our sponsors, 100 percent of the runner’s registration fees went to benefit Simon’s Heart. People truly came from far and wide to take part in our very first 5K,” said Jason Ostrander, Race Director and Sauers Cares Board Member.

Buckingham’s Baci Ristorante and The Heart of Oak Pub paid for all awards and provided connections for additional sponsors to help as well. Thanks to this generous support, all runners’ fees and donations go directly to Simon’s Heart through Sauers Cares.

“Very few races get to the space where all runners’ fees go to the organization,” Ostrander said.

So when Sauers Cares linked up with Tony Husenaj of Baci’s Heart of Oak Pub, they came up with the perfect idea to benefit the organization that helps identify heart issues, often in student athletes–a 5K.

“I always had a love for running and used to be seriously addicted to running around Lake Galena three or four times a week, always timed it to be finished at sunset. I wanted to rekindle my love with the lake and do some good at the same time,” Husenaj said.

Originally planned for the spring, the run was rescheduled for September and limited to 100 participants.

Ryan Walsh and the Bryn Mawr Racing Company helped with to make the race a success, even with Covid restrictions.

“Jason and The Baci 5K Crew pulled off one of the few LIVE races in September in Bucks County. Practicing social distancing and mask wearing before and after the race, along with a staggered start for each individual, shows that a race can occur as long as they are under the 250 person current PA limit,” Walsh said.

The success of the event has coordinators planning for next year. They hope to further Simon’s Heart mission to ensure a future in which parents and communities don’t lose children to detectable and treatable heart conditions.

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