West Orange, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Hundreds of people gathered at Suriano Stadium in West Orange on Sunday morning for the fifth annual Stop for Nikhil 5k Run/3k Walk. People from all over New Jersey participated in the event in an effort to support the Nikhil Badlani Foundation and promote traffic safety awareness.
The foundation was created after 11-year-old Nikhil Badlani lost his life in a motor vehicle accident in June 2011. An academically rigorous student, Nikhil attended West Orange Public Schools, and participated in programs such as HAP (High Aptitude Program), Wind Ensemble, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. Nikhil’s friends and family describe him as having had an “eagerness to learn and help others,” and a “passion for music and theatre.”
The Stop for Nikhil 5k Run/3k Walk occurs every September, becoming more diverse each year. This year’s sponsors included the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, and the Pleasant Valley Civic Association.
“Every year, we get bigger and better,” said Lisa Renwick, a neighbor and dear friend of the Badlanis. “With everybody’s support in the community and our surrounding towns, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation has been a tremendous success.”
According to Santeega Badlani, mother of Nikhil and President of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation, over 700 people attended this year’s event, ultimately raising $55,000.