The Big Chill is a charitable event. In addition to a small race fee, participants are asked to bring in a new toy or an equivalent cash donation for a child between the ages of 3 and 14. Toy donations will benefit New Brunswick Housing Authority and several other local charities. Cash donations will benefit The Rutgers Food Insecurity Fund.
Participants have grown exponentially since the race was first conducted.Thousands of people between the ages of 5 and 78 walked or ran through the streets of New Brunswick early on Saturday morning in order to bring toys to the children who live in housing provided by the City of New Brunswick and Franklin Township and a number of other charities where children are in need. According to CompuScore, The Big Chill has become the largest 5k in NJ and is considered by many to be one of the best conducted races in the tri-state area.
Thousands of toys are collected on Race Day and donated to New Brunswick Housing Authority, the Franklin Housing Authority, Robert Wood Johnson, The Salvation Army of Bound Brook, The American Red Cross of Central New Jersey and other organizations.
Business Community Involvement
The business community has supported The Big Chill since its inception. More than 20 restaurants and 30 business owners in Middlesex and Somerset Counties have generously sponsored the race by providing funding, prizes, food, and volunteers. The event would not be possible without their support.