NJCTS gives thanks for those who participated in the Mendham Walk: 7-year-old Samantha heads up banner day for Lederman family

It is only fitting that the second annual New Jersey Walks For TS event took place in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. While we still are accepting donations through Dec. 1 in hopes of reaching our fundraising goal of $50,000, there are many individuals and families to thank right now for what was an extremely successful event!

One of those families is the Ledermans, who to date have helped raise nearly $5,600 for the walk to help benefit the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS) and are in a battle with the Roncati family for the award of Top Fundraising Team (to be announced after Dec. 1).

The Ledermans had all sorts of family members — grandparents, cousins, fathers, mothers, etc. — and friends on hand at the walk and took home the prize for Best Banner. But it is their fundraising efforts and the inspired running of one of the youngest members of their family that will be remembered most.

“We felt it was important to be involved and educate ourselves on the challenges that individuals with Tourette face every day,” said Glenn Lederman, whose 10-year-old nephew Ethan was recently diagnosed with TS and served as the inspiration for starting Team Lederman. “We’ve always been driven to be competitive, and I thought it was a great way to compete — to develop funds to help everybody. Our driving force was to do just as much as we possibly could.”

Glenn’s 7-year-old daughter, Samantha, is a big fan of Ethan and was very excited to be a runner at the event — her first 5K of any kind. Not only did Samantha (pictured above in the purple fleece with her sister and parents) finish the race, she did it in a time of 36 minutes, 2 seconds — better than many adults!

“I did little steps when it was uphill, and when it was downhill I ran a little faster so I could get closer to the finish line faster,” said Samantha, who high-fived Somerset Patriots mascot Sparkee after she crossed the finish line. “I thought I would end up walking at some point, but I wound up running the whole time. I feel good that I’m helping.”

If you wish to join Glenn, Samantha, the rest of the Lederman family and others in helping NJCTS reach its fundraising goal of $50,000, please visit www.active.com/donate/MendhamWalksForTS. For more information about the New Jersey Walks For TS event, please visit www.njcts.org.