FAIRFIELD — The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge is celebrating 32 years of charitable giving and will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m.-12noon, rain or shine, at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, where participants can choose from a 5K Road Race, a 3k Fitness Walk through scenic Southport Harbor & Historic District, and a Kids’ Fun Run & KidZone Challenge. Event attendees, whether racing or not, are invited to sample free cups of Bigelow tea at the Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar, a customized 31-foot 1977 Airstream trailer.

Participants will receive complimentary goody bags, T-shirts and delicious (free) food post event and will be eligible to win raffle prizes and awards (kids too). Additionally, there will be family friendly activities including music, kid-friendly games, and face painting. Free babysitting will be available while parents run or walk. To register, contact https://runsignup.com/race/ct/southport.

The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge has become a major source of support to local non-profit organizations who are finding it increasingly more difficult to compete with prominent national charities for much needed dollars. More than $1.65 million dollars (100% of the proceeds from each year’s fundraiser) has been raised since the first event took place in 1987 and donated to 22 local charities. These donations allow each organization to continue providing programing which ranges from educational services, food, safe housing, and crisis counseling to after-school tutoring and recreational programs.

“This year’s event is expected to draw an estimated 800 participants and raise over $150,000 which amazes me when I think back to the first BTCC which attracted 50 participants and raised $3000,” said third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow. “I am immensely proud of our company Bigelow Tea, now a certified B Corporation, which continues to enrich the lives of many people in our community, a commitment that has been part of our DNA since Bigelow Tea was founded by my grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow, 75 years ago. Our purpose has always been about much more than making profits; we give back and have fun doing it!”