Hundreds Attend 12th Annual 5K Forward: Fast Track to Empowerment Race in Central Park!

Our 12th annual 5K Forward: Fast Track to Empowerment race was held on Sunday in Central Park with hundreds of runners, sponsors, partners, and volunteers. This event raised critical funds, which will help provide educational, employment, and community support services to people with autism and developmental disabilities.

Each year, the highlight of the race is seeing the individuals and families supported by Birch coming out to participate. Their involvement highlights Birch’s mission and the resolve of our community. Parents, loved ones, and friends joined together yesterday, creating a lively and inclusive atmosphere. The smiles, cheers, and high-fives along the course truly embodied the spirit of Birch Family Services in action.

“Birch provides a lot of the services that I need, like helping me with job interviews and a lot of the problems I currently face,” said New Frontier participant Ronell Culbengan. “It makes me feel amazing to support Birch for the 5K, I feel great.”

A special thanks to those that supported the race by running, walking, rolling, sponsoring, volunteering, fundraising, or simply spreading the word, we thank you for helping make it the amazing success that it was. We want to congratulate everyone who participated in this year’s 5K, especially our top racers.


1st Place – Male – Søren Kold
1st Place – Female – Ally Grant

2nd Place – Male – Aditya Rajan
2nd Place – Female – Weitao Zhu

3rd Place – Male – Martin Ewart
3rd Place – Female – Samantha Bobal

Top Fundraising Team – Team Sammy

Funds raised through events like our 5K allow us to further our mission. Thank you for being a part of our effort to provide children, adolescents, and adults with autism and developmental disabilities with the opportunities to reach their fullest potential.

Race finishers can find their results and finish line photos here. You can also check out all of our race photos here!