Three years ago today 's life was forever changed when her son in a speeding accident. Upon reading his goals in life in his senior yearbook, Lynn realized she could still help Matt fulfill one of his dreams–to make a difference.
As a result, she founded Matt's Mission and over the past three years, the organization has helped countless members of the community, been a part of countless fundraisers and handed out scholarships to students in North Branford, Branford and East Haven to give back more than $60,400 to the community.
"Community support means the world to me," said Lynn. "When I first came home from the hospital, all my neighbors came outside and we cried together. That night hundreds of people filled my street holding candles. Everyone was greiving the loss of my son with me.
"I had no clue what would happen in regards to funds raised," she added. "I did know that I was very passionate about giving back to our community after the love and support I received after Matt died."
In 2009, there was a walk in Matt's honor at the track and that inspired Matt's Mission 5K, which was held for the third year this past weekend on May 20.
This year's run/walk boasted the highest number of registrants yet with 1,013 participating, topping last year's record of 962. More than 1,200 were on hand for the post-race party, which featured food, face painting and live music. The brought in more than $40,000.
"I was thrilled with the turnout," said Lynn. "I think we stepped up our game quite a bit this year. The race growth is amazing. I love a big party with food, music and a positive upbeat atmosphere."
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Music was provided by Sudden Impact, Mike Rebeschi and the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society. There were several booths this year including , , and Patch.
Refreshments included Cedro Bananas' bananas, Cohen's Bagel Company's bagels, 's cotton candy, Crystal Rock's water and cups, Foxon Park Beverages' soda, Gold Medal Bakery's baked goods, 's pulled pork, Lynn's Deli's pasta salad, ' sheet cake, Peschell's Bakery's cupcake and Rita's Italian ice.
In addition to the complete list of sponsors (attached in PDF), Lynn sends thanks to all who donated (check out Active Giving to see the list of donors or make a donation), along with "John and Jordyn from JBSports, my race committee, all the volunteers who are too numerous to name, every school in North Branford, their administrators and staff, and those who registered run or walk."
Race results will be posted in an upcoming story.