December 13, 2019
 
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network Raises $106K

October 22, 2019 — Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, a Framingham nonprofit that provides outreach services, residential treatment programs, and community-based counseling services throughout eastern and central Massachusetts, announced that it recently raised $106,000 via its annual 5K4Kids Run/Walk and Halloween Festival, setting a record.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network said the event, held for the tenth time on Oct. 5, drew more than 200 registered runners to the Walsh Middle School in Framingham.

Fundraising is continuing to meet a $115,000 goal.

The funds will support children, youth, and families served at 17 program sites in Massachusetts, including purchase of holiday gifts, emergency clothing, and food, as well as special events such as field trips, performances, and extracurricular activities.

Eric L. Masi, president and CEO of Wayside, said, "This event is our largest annual fundraiser and the proceeds allow our staff to do special things for our kids that otherwise would not be possible.”

Funds were raised through ticket sales, pledges, an auction, and through five rallies organized by Wayside staff at restaurants and entertainment venues, with several restaurants donating a portion of the sales from the evening of the rally.

Sponsors included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Advocates, The Edinburg Center, LUK, Inc., Open Sky Community Services, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., The Key Program, and You, Inc.

To date, the 5K4Kids has raised more than $750,000 for the thousands of children and families served each year by the human services agency.

Wayside was founded in 1977 as one of the first residences in New England for runaway and homeless youth. It subsequently expanded to offer a range of services as the need grew for alternatives to orphanages, reform schools, and psychiatric.

Ten years ago, it combined four group homes, an accredited school, day treatment programs, and administrative offices at the 14-acre Frederick Abbott Way campus in Framingham, which has provided services to 10,000 youth.

Wayside currently is implementing a strategic plan that includes expanding key programs that will serve more families in MetroWest, the Blackstone Valley, Lowell, Malden, Sturbridge, Waltham, and Watertown.

It also plans to expand its residential program in the future, and demolish a building on Lockland Avenue and replace it with a new dormitory and group home for children, adding nine beds at the facility and increasing the capacity at the Frederick Abbott Way campus.

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