Costume winners

Festivus costume contest winners John Young and Jeanine Pelkey as The Costanzas.

To the editor:

On Sunday, Dec. 12, 440 runners took to the streets of Salem to participate in the 10th Annual Festivus 5K for Autism. The event, hosted by Finz Seafood & Grill owner George Carey, raised $30,000 that will go directly to support students with autism at the Northshore Education Consortium (NEC).

NEC is the largest provider of public special education programs for students with emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs on the north shore. Over the past 10 years, the race has raised over $165,000.

Kyle Taylor, 30, of Salem, was the men’s overall winner with a time of 18:00. He was part of the Notch Brewing Runners team. Hayley Martin, 29, of Marblehead, was the women’s overall winner with a time of 20:58. Notch Brewing Runners was the winner of the team award with runners Kyle Taylor, Michael Harris, William Keefe, Richard Denton, and Rosemary Denton.

Runners, volunteers and sponsors celebrated after the race with a Festivus-themed party at Finz. Race organizers gave awards for best costumes, top Festivus grievances, and winning runners. Festivus is an alternative holiday celebration, made popular by the TV show “Seinfeld,” which includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength, and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles.”

This year’s top sponsors included Lincoln Investment, Salem Hospital, JHR Development, Steel Root, It Starts with Me, Rockland Trust, Salem Five Charitable Foundation, National Grand Bank, Murphy’s Funeral Home, Kruger Industrial Smoothing, EBSCO, Kiewit Companies Foundation, North Shore Bank, Drumlin Group, Connor’s Angels, Fritz DeGuglielmo LLC, Dotokushin Kai, Beverly Rotary Club, SIGMA Pros, LCC, Education Consulting, Advocacy & Legal Services, LLC., FirstLight Home Care, Salem Police Superior Officers Association, Salem Rotary Club, Pediatric Associates of Greater Salem & Beverly, Terence Criswell, DDS, Robert Kravitz, Newburyport Bank, jh turiel & associates, AFTMA Local 4293, New England Running Company, and New England Civil Engineering.

Special thanks to the Salem police, who did a great job of controlling the traffic during the race to keep the runners safe, and to the many Salem residents along the route who cheered our runners on!

For more on the Festivus 5K for Autism, visit

Cindy Johnson

Co-race director

Festivus 5K for Autism


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