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A ghost on the left and a runner on the right, HomeFront, the Lawrence Township-based nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate homelessness, is turning their sprint for a cause scary.

The Halloween Run/Walk and Family Day — now with new events for kids — will be held at 10 a.m. on the Sunday morning of the namesake holiday. The event will take place at Building 502 in the Carnegie Center office complex in West Windsor, and the organization is inviting people of all ages to their new, specially decorated racecourse.

Attendees can help raise funds for homeless youth by participating in featured races, including a 5K, one-mile race, “marathon finisher” run-walk, and a 100-yard Pumpkin Dash for preschoolers. There will also be fun family events, like a Trunk or Treat, live music, and more.

“The Halloween Run/Walk and Family Day makes possible HomeFront’s year-round Joy, Hopes & Dreams children’s program and summer camp for 400 local children in a typical year who are homeless or living in poverty,” said Chris Marchetti, the program’s director. “During COVID-19, we’ve seen the interruption of schooling and social isolation has compounded the trauma of becoming homeless for our kids, setting them back even further academically, behaviorally, and emotionally.”

This year Homefront is adding family fun events for young children. There will be live musical performances, pumpkin decorating and photo opportunities. Other features are trick or treat bag decorating and a “Trunk or Treat” time where people will be giving out candy from their festively accented vehicles.

The Halloween Run/Walk and Family Day is an extension of HomeFront’s regular services that have continued even during the pandemic.

“Our Joy, Hopes & Dreams kids receive tutoring three times a week, weekly classes with the Arts Council in Princeton, a host of field trips to broaden our kids’ horizons, STEM and academic enrichment, sports, college preparation, mentoring, and summer camp. Our programming has, for the past 30 years, helped children heal from the trauma they’ve experienced, feel joy, receive the support, skills, and develop the dreams needed to break the cycle of poverty,” Marchetti said.

This year’s event top sponsors are ZS Associates, NJM Insurance Group, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Northwestern Mutual, First Bank, and Nordson EFD.

Participants can form teams and win trophies, a costume contest, and fundraising prizes. Tickets range from $10 to $30 depending on the event, with online registration ending at 10 p.m. on Oct. 27 at www.homefrontnj.org/2021/07/halloween-runwalk.

Or, anyone interested in donating to support HomeFront’s Joy, Hopes & Dreams program can contribute at the registration website (even if you are not registering).

Those 16 and older are welcome to volunteer for the event, and any questions can be directed to homefront@homefrontnj.org.

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