Pretty in Pink (and purple) at the Bizzie Lizzie Fun Run
Runners commemorate spirit of little girl at township fundraiser.
There were runners in tutus and pink fairy wings Saturday at the Bizzie Lizzie 5K fundraiser, where more than 1,500 people turned out at the Mack Cali corporate campus to run and enjoy the sunny but cold weather.
Police directed traffic with purple wands and volunteers from the Parsippany Moms Club West, who ran the event, wore pink sequined cowboy hats. There was "Bizzie's Beauty Parlor,'' where cheerleaders from Parsippany Hills High School painted children's faces, did "crazy hair'' and sold pink accessories in honor of Elizabeth "Bizzie'' Stein, the township toddler who died in January of a brain tumor.
The daughter of Joe and Amy Stein, she loved to play dress up in girly gear, but had her tomboy side, too.
The fundraiser was to offset the expenses surrounding her treatment, from the high cost of commuting to Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in Manhattan every day, to medical copays and the loss of income incurred from the Steins having to cut back on work.
More than 700 runners participated in the races, including the children's run. Others attended to watch or participate in sideline activities.
"It makes you proud to be a part of Parsippany,'' said organizer Amy Lamperti (and also Parsippany Patch's "Mom Next Door'' columnist). "In all honesty, from the moment I went to get the permits at town hall and hire the police for the event, everyone was aware of Bizzie. For so many people to come out is above and beyond what would happen in other towns, I think. Parsippany gets some knocks for not having a town center, but who needs one when you have a crowd like this?''
Mayor James Barberio, whose ten-year-old brother died of a brain tumor when the mayor was a child, said he was also there to support the Steins, adding, "This is a beautiful thing in Parsippany.''
Bizzie Stein's grandfather, Bill Monti, handed out trophies to winners, telling the crowd, "Our hearts have been warmed by all your love and support.''
Allison Orr of Parsippany was the first woman to cross the finish line, with a time of 22 minutes and 15 seconds, and Drew Reinhards, a 17-year-old, from Greendell was the first man, finishing in 17 minutes and 59 seconds.