Employees of Orange County companies will run in a 16-mile relay Saturday to raise money for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Organizers say they hope the the race, in Irvine’s William Mason Regional Park, will bring in more than $25,000 for the national restoration project.
The sponsoring employers will donate $500 each for each five-member team that completes a 3.3-mile segment of the course. Prizes, from round-trip air fare to New York for the rededication ceremony to commemorative copper ingots, will be awarded to the fastest runners.
About 35 companies have signed up to participate so far, and another 15 firms are expected to enter teams by Saturday, said Joyce Ziemer of the Koll Co., one of the sponsors. “We’ve extended registration to race day and we’ll probably have companies trickling in all week to register,” she said.
The statue, a gift to the United States from France, was the first glimpse of America seen by many of the 17 million immigrants who entered through Ellis Island. It has become an enduring symbol of freedom, but in the 99 years since its dedication, time and decay have taken their toll.
Since 1982, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Centennial Commission has been working to raise $230 million for the restoration and future maintenance of the monument.
The relay will begin at 8:45 a.m.; admission is free. William Mason Regional Park is at 18712 University Drive, near UC Irvine. For more information, call Ziemer at 833-3030.