Joe Cassella 5K

Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 8:30 AM
Great Falls Village Center
750 Walker Road Great Falls, VA

Over 1,000 people showed up on a gorgeous Sunday morning to support the Joe Cassella Foundation’s 3rd annual Joe Cassella 5K and Gianna Hess. Runners from as far away as California and Ontario, Canada came to participate. We were blown away by the support of our participants, amazing volunteers and fabulous sponsors. There’s no word to let you know how thankful we are for your support, comments, emails, reviews and text messages.

With your help, we were able to raise over $45,000 for Gianna's medical bills, but stay tuned for a more accurate amount in the next few days.

John Adams Elementary School took the award for the largest team and a team from Travis Hess’ hometown (The 7th Ward Roadrunners) won an award for the largest team fundraising effort.

To all our volunteers, we can’t thank you enough for your hard work and great attitude. Words can’t explain how thankful we are for your help!


We are sad to have to say this, but please read the following note from Capital Running Company regarding the Joe Cassella 5K -2012 race results. Thank you for your understanding.

"Dear Participants:
Thank you for your support of the Joe Cassella 5K.
Capital Running Company was engaged as the timing and scoring vendor for this event. Due to a regretable technical error, we unfortunately are unable to produce race results for the event. We are truly sorry for the error and are evaluating our procedures to ensure this issue does not happen again. This error was all our own, and not the Foundation's, and we wish to express our sincere apologies to the participants, volunteers, and members of the Joe Cassella Foundation.
Capital Running Company"


Here we are, and there’s something to say,
It’s time to get real for a minute, before we play,
Have you come for Joe, Gianna, yourself, each other, or just the 5k,
Whichever your reason, the power is in the #’s, so thanks for being here today,
Our hearts our behind this, it’s the right thing to do,
In this, Joe’s alive, helping Gianna, ….myself & all of you,
So you must be for it, don’t ignore it,
Write it down, and if you must, score it,
The spirit of this day is so big,
That tomorrow we’ll all be bored
You all go to events, but not like this,
This is not meant to be small, don’t you forget,
We’re celebrating a great life, and giving another an assist,
So for years to come you can guarantee this,
Together this is Big, but without – we miss
Your heart, your lungs,
Your mind, your spirit,
Breathe in the air,
And in your chest, feel it,
Now focus on your heart and lungs,
Touch your chest, feel the thump,
You’re alive, be thankful, life has its slumps,
Think about your next breath, when you’re in the dumps,
Because it may not come, so count your blessings,
Hard times of life, it’s a teacher, learn a lesson,
Strength, it’s not lifting up a car,
It’s lifting your spirits,
It’s like the 400m hurdle, gotta clear it,
I’m not the example, but I may have the words,
If you’re true to yourself, they will be heard,
So don’t be a book on the shelf sitting idle,
Be an open book, be the idol,
Reach out next to you, that person matters,
Pick up your chatter, flatter each other,
For we are all here to support our brothers,
And sisters, like Gianna,
Learning her story, seeing that face, you say “I wanna”,
Try to help and assist our neighbors,
Don’t call it a favor, it’s our duty,
It’s together we define the word, community!

So that begs the question,
Do you feel Joe?
If I feel him anywhere, it’s here and now, more than ever,
He delivered Giannas story to us,
In the way of a newsletter,
Make you feel better?
Our motivation was down,
Until we looked around,
The support from all angles was so profound,
From bright shoe laces, to bracelets, to today’s event,
Tie it all in a bow, a present heaven sent,
Keep your hearts eye open,
Recognize the signs,
There’s a message in all of this,
And if you’re here, to it you’re not blind
But if this thought does comes to mind, “I don’t wanna”,
Stop, listen to yourself, and then think of Gianna,
If today when running you hurt, should you keep pushing forward? Yes,
Show bravery in support of a great family, we came to give our best,
We didn’t come together to give mediocrity,
So rip open your shirt, and show the Super S,
Today, like Joe, we can all be superhero-ish, helping Gianna Hess

--Patrick DeRocco


The Leigh Agency

Aquarian LLC

La Villa Roma Pizza & Restaurant

Commonwealth Orthopaedics

Washington Fine Properties

Heintz Media Productions

Elite Fitness Concepts

The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos

TLC Laser Eye Center

Hop & Wine Beverage

GMI Professional Landscape Service

My Eye Dr.

Deb Pietras, Realtor

Potomac River Running

The Beebe Family

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia – Jeffrey Virostek Fund

The Gastroenterology Group, PC