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Post Office Cafe 5K Run, 1K Walk Supports Village Family

The 20th annual run will be held by the local restaurant to benefit the MPS Society.

The Post Office 5K, a long-running Fall run/walk, will once again take over downtown Babylon Village streets this October.

The 3.1-mile run begins at 10 a.m. and the 1k "fun run" starts at 9:30 a.m on October 15.

Post Office Cafe, located on Main Street, sponsors the event to honor two Lessing family members affected by MPS: Mark Lessing Jr., who died last year, and Casey Lessing, a 19-year-old currently living with the disorder.

The Cafe, owned by the Lessing family which also owns several other Long Island restaurants and catering halls, had been sponsoring the 5K for the past 20 years, but 13 years ago began collaborating with the MPS Society due to the family's very personal connection to the cause.

Kerri Rose, the general manager, said the event attracts an average of 500 runners. Mark Lessing Sr., the owner of the restaurant, lives in Babylon with his wife and two surviving children, Casey and Noah.

"Many people who've been affected by this come out. Parents talk to us who have lost their children at one years old. Mark was unusual in that he was fighting this for so long [until his death at the age of 20]," explained Rose.

Fitness Incentive, BMG Printing, and the Babylon Village Women's Club are co-sponsors. Proceeds will benefit the National MPS Society, a nonprofit dedicated to funding research into the rare genetic disorder of MPS which affects children with devastating health consequences.

To register for the race, visit mpssociety.org or stop by the Cafe. There will be prizes for the top three overall male and female winners, as well as age group prizes and a special acknowledgement for the top Babylon Village man and woman to finish.

The route will start in front of the Cafe and wind through residential streets south of Montauk Highway, and culminate in the finish line near the start. Streets will be closed to vehicle traffic for the duration of the event.

A pre-race party kicks off the festivities. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. runners can pick up their t-shirts and race numbers at the Cafe and mingle with other participants. A complimentary buffet and drink are also on offer for participants.

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