About The Valerie Fund

Over $359,000 Raised at The Rook Run (and walk) in Long Branch for Kids with Cancer and Blood Disorders

Four year total of $822,000 supports the mission of The Valerie Fund

Maplewood, N.J. (October 16, 2017) – The 4th Annual 5K Rook Run (and walk), held on October 8 in Long Branch on The Great Lawn Amphitheatre, has continued to grow and surpassed its goal raising over $359,000 to help The Valerie Fund patients. Over 3,000 runners and walkers of all ages along with local business sponsors contributed their support for The Valerie Fund.
Rook Coffee ( co-founders, Holly Migliaccio and Shawn Kingsley, who initiated the run to benefit The Valerie Fund in 2014, are passionate about putting their support behind an organization in their community who provides extraordinary care to children and their families at a most vulnerable time. "With all that's going on in the world today, it was quite refreshing to be somewhere with so many positive, caring and giving individuals altogether in one place at one time," said Migliaccio. "Gathering our staff, family, friends, fans, customers, and Valerie Fund supporters, The Rook Run has become an emotional day of love and togetherness that we are more and more proud of year after year."

Presenting sponsor, World Subaru (, led by Joe Wajda, Executive Manager, created a raffle this year donating a car, in addition to their monetary support. The winner of the 2018 Subaru Forester (approx. value $28,000) Jeannette Cannon was announced during the awards ceremony.

Wajda says, "We were excited to partner with The Valerie Fund and Rook Coffee at this year's run and walk. World Subaru's team had over 65 runners and walkers, and we look forward to being involved for years to come. The work The Valerie Fund is doing on behalf of New Jersey children battling cancer and blood disorders is amazing, and we are honored to support their efforts."

Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing and Communications at The Valerie Fund remembers feeling super positive about her very first meeting with Holly and Shawn. "They had a remarkable vision about the difference Rook Coffee could make in the local community and they came to The Valerie Fund with great ideas and the energy to help me plan and executive a successful event."

The collaboration was made stronger by the Rook Coffee's solid customer base. The young company with ten locations in Monmouth County enjoys a devoted following and their demographic is interested
in both physical activity and philanthropy. The 5K run and recently added walk has grown exponentially over the last four years and has raised more than $822,000 to date. The partnership with Rook Coffee has been a highlight in Flanders' dozen years as head of The Valerie Fund's Marketing Department. "I am so proud to have yet another opportunity to celebrate the courage and resilience of children being treated for cancer and blood disorders. The event is great fun for the whole family and its extraordinary success has helped pay for the Palliative Care Program at nearby Monmouth Medical Center."

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