Affordable Housing Groups the Beneficiaries of Saturday’s Community Bridges 5K

Affordable Housing Groups the Beneficiaries of Saturday’s Community Bridges 5K

Another 5K run. Another great cause. Another great time for all.

On Saturday, hundreds of runners and walkers joined University of Virginia President Jim Ryan and his wife Katie – both avid runners – for the second annual Community Bridges 5K Run/Walk.

The event benefitted four affordable housing groups in the Charlottesville area: the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents and the Piedmont Housing Alliance.

This year’s 5K raised $42,091, which set a new record and was a 68% increase over the first race. 

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“All are nonprofit organizations that are working to create affordable housing and making an impact in our community,” said co-race director Mark Lorenzoni, the owner of Ragged Mountain Running Shop, who also participates in Ryan’s UVA-Community Working Group. “This is 100% UVA’s gift back to the community.”

The run/walk, presented by the Charlottesville Track Club, began at 8 a.m. at the UVA Amphitheater. The 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course wound through Grounds, across Beta Bridge and through the Venable and Westhaven neighborhoods, crossing several more bridges along the way.

The final stretch took participants up West Main Street and past the Rotunda before finishing at McCormick Road near Engineer’s Way.

In designing the course, Lorenzoni said the primary goal was to link the University with the bordering neighborhoods. The event is a visible representation of the University’s 2030 strategic plan, which calls for UVA to “be a strong partner with and good neighbor to the Charlottesville region.” The first Community Bridges 5K took place last fall in conjunction with Ryan’s formal inauguration as president.

“President Ryan and the University are committed to strengthening the relationships with their neighbors,” Lorenzoni said. “This event is a small, but symbolic, effort in staying true to that mission.”

The race concluded with a ceremony in which organizers awarded prizes to race participants – who ranged from kids to seniors – and checks to the four affordable housing groups.

“One of the overriding goals of the event is to celebrate community,” Lorenzoni said. “That’s the big thing.

“And supporting these organizations is an opportunity to help ensure there is safe, quality, affordable housing for all residents in the region.”

Take a look at some photos from the morning.

The 5K raised more than $10,000 apiece for four affordable housing groups in Charlottesville: the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Public Housing Association of Residents and the Piedmont Housing Alliance.
UVA President Jim Ryan joined in on the run/walk, sporting some UVA Athletics gear.
UVA Interim Police Chief Tim Longo poses for a quick picture.

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Wesley P. Hester

Deputy Spokesperson Office of University Communications