HomeFront’s “Rock and Roll for Hope’ set for June

Runners and rock-n-rollers alike can lace up their running shoes or their dancing shoes at HomeFront’s “Rock and Roll for Hope” 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk, which is scheduled for June 9 at the Educational Testing Service campus on Rosedale Road in Lawrence Township.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. race, which raises money for the non-profit group’s Camp Mercer summer camp program and its year-round “Joys Hopes and Dreams” children’s program.

HomeFront, which helps the homeless and the working poor, is based in Lawrence Township.

There will be games, awards and prizes for the best rock-n-roll costumes and for the largest fund-raisers at the June 9 event. Participants can dress as their favorite rock star and compete for an award.

Rock and music bands will line the race course to entertain the runners – from HIVE, the School of Rock’s two house bands, BoxoRox, the Footstompers, Songs of Sentiment, Around Eight and Milz Stone to the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School steel drum band.

Princeton High School’s a capella groups, teen bands Rebel Alliance and Darnabee Jones from the John Witherspoon Middle School, as well as Cloud 9, the Testosterones and the Cat’s Meow bands also will play for runners.

And so far, each of the four elementary schools in the Princeton Public Schools is sending a team of young runners. The West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District also is sending teams of runners.

This is the second year that rock-n-roll bands have been invited to play for the runners, said Suki Wasserman, HomeFront’s Community Engagement coordinator.

“Last year, we had a committee and we knew we wanted to come up with a ‘big idea’ to draw a lot of people. We wanted to grow the event significantly in size,” Wasserman said.

“We started with the idea it would be great to have teens from the local area come with their high school bands or their own music groups to perform. From that idea, the rock’n’roll theme evolved. We decided to invite adult bands, too,” she said.

The 2018 edition of the 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk drew 800 participants. Pleased with the turnout, HomeFront has set a goal of 1,000 participants for this year’s fundraiser.

Money raised by the June 9 event will be used to cover the costs of HomeFront’s Camp Mercer summer camp, which provides day camp for homeless and at-risk children.

The eight-week summer camp provides arts and crafts, swimming, dance, sports, drama and field trips, as well as reading and academics.

The “Joys Hopes and Dreams” program takes place during the school year. It offers tutoring, field trips, social programs and fitness programs.

To register for the 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk, go to www.homefrontnj.org.