On Sunday, Oct. 9th, the sun was out, the temperature was in the 70’s, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was an ideal day for the 19th annual Get to the Point! 5K, held to raise money for St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy.
Members of the community, St. Stan’s kids and parents, as well as running devotees gathered at Driggs Avenue for a day filled with athletics and celebration. Over 550 people, in all, showed up to support the school – a record number, according to organizer and Athletic Director at St. Joseph’s College, Frank Carbone. “In terms of the weather, the crowd, and the enthusiasm it was terrific. We had about 75 kids run the dashes independent of the 5k. It was exactly what we wanted. We didn’t want to be like any other type of race. We wanted it to be a family environment, and for everyone just to have a good time.”
Although the numbers haven’t been totaled yet, Carbone said that any more than 300 runners is a profit for St. Stan’s. Their goal is anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000.
Carbone, a lifelong Greenpoint resident who attended St. Stan’s himself, decided to help his alma mater after it was mandated that Catholic schools exist as independent entities, instead of receiving funding from the parish, like in the past. “We felt it was important, since they were on their own, that we direct [funding] towards them. It’s a win-win situation because being a partner means that St. Joe’s can get their name out there. It’s a perfect match.”
One of the runners, Tom Slaski, grew up in the neighborhood and came back to show his dedication. He said the event was “fantastic. My kids had a great time. They got trophies and pretzels. It’s a beautiful day, and there are a lot of great people so I think it’s wonderful. Hopefully we’ll support the school and bring some people to St. Joseph’s as well.”
The men’s winner of the race was Nini Benbouzid, who finished in 16:22, and the female winner was Marie Barnett, clocking in at 18:49. The runners started at Driggs Avenue, then went up Franklin Street, down Manhattan Avenue, and finished on Humboldt Street. After the participants dashed over the finish line, there was a post-party with food from 40 area establishments, a raffle, awards, and beverages from Brooklyn Brewery.
Paul Smith, a local resident who sent all five of his children to St. Stan’s, has been participating and assisting with the organization of Get to the Point! since 1998. “I think it’s great and it brings the community together,” he said. “Everybody helps out and supports St. Stan’s. It’s for the youth of the community. It keeps them together.”