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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

St. Joe honoring Dorothy Cartica at 5K and Fall Fest


courtesy photo

HAMMONTON—The St. Joseph Academy 5K and Fall Festival will be held on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. at 328 Vine St.


President and Head of School Stephen Cappuccio said the race will honor Dorothy “Dot” Cartica who was a longtime field hockey coach and teacher at St. Joseph Academy.


“We are doing it in memory of Coach Dorothy Cartica who is a longtime educator, coach and friend of St. Joseph who has a very storied career I think that spans over 30 years at the school,” Cappuccio said.


Cappuccio said he and his parents had Cartica as a teacher, and she coached his sister in field hockey.


Paul Rodio, the head basketball coach at St. Joseph Academy, said Cartica was “a famous field hockey coach and a tremendous influence at St. Joe for a lot of years.”


This is the third year of the race. During the first year, Rodio said the school honored Scott Henshaw, a former science teacher and coach at the school, and there were about 100 runners.


While trying to figure out ways to raise money for the school, Rodio came up with the idea for the 5K after seeing his cousin, Joe Rodio, doing 5Ks for his daughter who died.


“I’ve been the basketball coach there. This will be my 10th season. I just got in the advancement fundraising role a couple years ago and I decided I think we can make some money on this 5K because my cousin, who is a business office manager, Joe Rodio, he used to do 5Ks for when his daughter passed and she was my cousin and they used to make a lot of money on them, so I said why don’t we do something a little different in the fall time, and that’s how we started it,” Rodio said.


According to St. Joseph Academy’s website, anyone can sign up for the one-mile run/walk.

Participants of the 5K will receive a free T-shirt and there will be prizes and gift certificates from local restaurants and merchants.


The money from the 5K will be used for various programs at St. Joseph Academy including tuition assistance, scholarship opportunities and the Women’s Institute of Leadership and Learning (WILL) program, Rodio said.


“Anything to advance the education for the students here,” Rodio said.


The WILL program was started on Dec. 21, 2020.


“I think that’s another reason why we honored or named the race after Dot Cartica because she was a tremendous female influence for the school,” Rodio said.


Cappuccio explained how the money raised will support St. Joseph Academy’s academic, athletic and social service programs.


“Those are the three banners that we put the donated funds to. So any academic innovations we do to the school,” Cappuccio said. “Also for athletics to help with teams with uniforms and some items that they may need outside the regular athletic budget. And then social service programs so helping fund transportation for kids to go out into the community and work at soup kitchens and to do community service in our community.”


When Cappuccio joined St. Joseph Academy as President and Head of School, Rodio said they added the fall fest.


At the Fall Festival, St. Joseph Academy will have a bounce house, face painting, a food truck, a DJ, games for the kids and more.


People can register for the 5K on St. Joseph Academy’s website stjosephacademy.com.


Right now, the registration fee is $30 online and on the day of the event the registration fee will be $35. Registration at the event will be on Oct. 22 at 10 a.m., an hour before the race starts.


The Fall Fest will be free and open to the public.


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