Sunday, October 23, 2005

Running To Make A Difference

By Patricia Polhill
The Restoration Corporation 24th annual 10K Community Fun Run- Walk Event. It's not associated with the NYRR that host the ING NYC Marathon, but is the biggest community event in the Bed/Stuy – Crown Height area. Some of my family and friends are participated, in honor of my uncle Joseph Sonny Haynes and a neighborhood friend Lenny Gittens.

Both men loved Brooklyn and the neighborhood. They devoted time to neighbors and community events. Joseph "Sonny" Haynes lived on St Marks Ave. He always said “you have to love where you live” and he really did. He was a licensed private pilot by the age of 16, and as a member of the NAI. He was an aviation instructor for most of his adult life (Brooklyn’s Harry S. Simmons Architect, was a friend & student). As a PE, he was a math coach for Math Counts (, promoting the importance of mathematic in the many of Brooklyn's Junior High Schools. He supported community art at the Fulton Art Fair and Dorsey's Galley as well as African History & contributions at the Weeksville Settlement on Bergen Street (

Lenny Gitten, a photographer, also supported the community and even ran in this annual community run fundraiser. ( He moved from Vanderbilt Ave to New York Avenue & Eastern Parkway. He supported the Fulton Art Fair, Skylight Galley (, photographing changes in Africa and in our neighborhood both big and small ( the opening of Knapps on Fulton Street, Mandela coming to Boys and Girls High School, Bishop David Wallace consecration, Pastor of Agape Christian Fellowship).

Both men have passed, relative to a men’s health issue. I think we need to pay attention to the mortality rate of the men in our lives and community, since they are dying of prostate cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease, AIDS, etc.
Last year the 10K run proceeds benefited the Central Brooklyn Childhood Asthma Partnership (CBCAP), 18 community-based organizations that educated the Central Brooklyn community about managing asthma. This year the event benefits YAA – Youth Arts Association. Sonny & Lenny would have support Restoration’s efforts. The event has passed but if you would still like to support the cause, please contact:, about registrations and donations or contact:

Deborah Jones - Development Coordinator
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp
(718) 636-6972
(718) 636-0511 (f)

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