Although seeming like just another beautiful autumn day, September 30th was much more than that this year: it was the day of the annual Franklin Lakes Scenic Run, organized by The Wyckoff Family YMCA and the Franklin Lakes Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, in which the FLOW community came out to support a special fight against cancer. Specifically, it was a fight against carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, which the late Ben Landel was diagnosed with in 2017. Members of all three communities met up at the Franklin Lakes Recreation Center to compete in three events, including a Half Marathon, a 5K, and a 1-Mile Fun Run. From Ramapo High School, teachers, students, and alumni of Ramapo alike joined together in teams or individually to raise awareness of carcinoma and its pervasive effect on the lives of people who are diagnosed with it. Sam Secora, a Senior on the Spring Track Team, stated “I really enjoyed running with the track team as well as seeing the college kids come home to run in honor of Ben. It was great to run and it was great to see all the people who came out and supported it.”
The event drew a considerable crowd and displayed the dedication of the Ramapo Community to honor Ben Landel and battle against carcinoma through raising awareness. The Spring Track Team wore their “Ben Strong” shirts proudly and other groups from the school, like the Girls Gymnastics Team, showed up as a group to display their support. Another Senior on the Spring Track Team, Natalie Kologrivov, expressed “Overall I think the event is really amazing in what their goal is throughout the two years. Ben was an amazing athlete and student and even though we are no longer raising funds for his treatment specifically, we are helping all the other kids and adults battling NUT Midline Carcinoma. Being a part of the track team and part of this event shows how much Ben had an impact on us and it’s really great that each year we can celebrate that with something he loved to do.”
In response to the event, Mr. Manzo, one of the Track Team’s Head Coaches, stated “It was great seeing so many familiar faces from the community and from Ramapo out as part of Team Bolt4Ben at the Franklin Lakes Scenic 5k and Half Marathon. Last year we ran to support Ben’s fight and this year we came together to remember Ben and to support the Landel family. Once again, this was a special event in memory of a great kid and in support of a wonderful family and it was wonderful to see through those participating how far-reaching Ben’s influence has gone.” On September 30th 2018, the FLOW and Ramapo Community once more proved that we are truly “in it for the long run” and that our support will never waver.
Current members of the Spring Track Team (Photo Courtesy of Helen Jennings)
By: Helen Jennings ’19, Life Editor
Featured Photo: Classmates and friends in Ben’s graduating class of 2018 came to participate (Photo Courtesy of Helen Jennings)