Theresa Street 5K passes fundraising finish line

Apr 27, 2024

Cheers could be heard throughout the streets of Dartmouth Saturday morning, April 27 as hundreds hit the pavement in support of the unified sports programs.

Theresa Street, a Dartmouth-based nonprofit, held its third annual run, raising over $10,000 for the Dartmouth and New Bedford unified sports programs, according to John Breault, a special education teacher at Dartmouth High School and the unified sports coach. 

Founded in 2020, Theresa Street hosts similarly competitive community programs and sporting events to raise money for local organizations in Dartmouth and New Bedford that provide educational and mental health support to low-income students and students with disabilities. 

At the race, Breault said, “The amount of fundraising and the amount of walkers and runners — it’s unbelievable to see how much it’s grown in the three years that we’ve done it.”

Approximately 220 runners and walkers were signed up for this year’s race, with dozens more signing up the morning of.

He added, “I think that speaks volumes about the work that Theresa Street’s doing, but also the understanding of how impactful unified sports can be to communities, so really excited it’s been a successful day so far.”

Ryan Janczy, head of donations and development for Theresa Street, said, all the work the organization puts into the race is in support of unified sports. “We really just want to give them every opportunity as any other child and want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve as well.”

He highlighted the hard work of the organization’s volunteers, adding how they all “love every minute of it.”

Janczy said, “We’re just here to put on a great event in the town that we love on a beautiful day like today running across the water. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

Dartmouth High School sophomores Andrew Monic and Preston Francisco are a part of the unified sports team and said they ran the 5K for the first time this year. 

Francisco said he was inspired to join the team by his friends who were already a part, adding, “It was a really good experience.”

Monic said he is following in the footsteps of his older brothers who were a part of the Unified program when they attended the high school. 

“It was a great fundraising event for the program,” Monic said. “It has definitely helped out with providing a lot of opportunities and resources to the program.”

Gabrielle Morency, 10, ran the race for the very first time. 

“I’ve been trying to workout and the race was coming up so I signed up,” Morency said. “It was definitely hard, but I pushed through it at the end.”

In preparation for the run, Morency said she would do 10 to 30 minute runs around her neighborhood to get into shape.

Dartmouth District 1 Deputy Fire Chief Jake Bettencourt was also among the 5K runners this year. 

“It’s a real worthy cause — it’s a good cause,” Bettencourt said. “It’s local, so it’s a real benefit to help out.”

He added, “[It’s a] great group of folks that are doing a great job doing fundraising for a needy cause, so it’s great to participate.”