Leland Yu, a former chef behind “Run for Chinatown” — a running initiative that has donated around $65,000 to local businesses — in New York City is holding a new charity run in time for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The details: The Sept. 18 event, titled “Mid-Autumn Mile,” will begin at the Cooper Triangle at 6:15 p.m. and end at the intersection of Mott and Pell Streets. It will be led by Yu and Kai Ng, a certified running coach who has finished 60 races himself — including 15 marathons and a “handful of ultra-marathons.”
- “Mid-Autumn Mile” is the culmination of a 21-day running challenge that kicked off on Aug. 29. “Not to spill too many beans but there’s going to be mooncakes, lion dance and some of your favorite neighborhood people,” Yu, 31, said of the event.
- The event does not require participants to run — walking is fine, too. Yu said the route will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
- Prospective participants must complete a short Google Form and pay $38.88 — a one-time donation that includes a goody bag — to @runforchinatown on Venmo. Google Form and Venmo account names should match.
- All participants are required to wear a mask throughout the event. Children aged 16 and below must be accompanied by a legal guardian, but those aged 12 and below, as well as dogs, can join the event for free. However, dogs must be “up to date on all vaccinations, have no aggression issues, and be used to running or walking one mile in the city.”
Beneficiary: Yu said 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Golden Fung Wong, a bakery located at 41 Mott St. The business is known for its Chinese sweet and savory treats, such as mooncakes and sesame balls.
- Golden Fung Wong was established in 1961, making it the oldest operating bakery in the neighborhood. “It is located right in the heart of Chinatown, but it has not received the love it should,” Yu told NextShark. “One of their main items are mooncakes, which are traditionally prepared and eaten for the Mid-Autumn Festival. We want to support Golden Fung Wong to help keep this tradition alive.”
- So far, Yu has organized eight charity runs that amassed some $65,000. He used the money to help stimulate other businesses and feed COVID-19 frontline workers.
- In July, Yu’s 68-year-old mother fell victim to an unprovoked attack outside a flower shop on Mulberry Street. The incident is not being investigated as a hate crime, but the rise in anti-Asian incidents has the family convinced that it was not an exception.