Hundreds stepped out on a crisp, sunny Sunday morning for the 28th annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, an event that steps up support for charities and civic causes around the region.

In the spotlight was the traditional array of run/walking events, ranging from a 5K race to Kids Fun Run, Kids Half-Mile Run and a 2-mile fitness walk.

At the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, the Fairfield-based tea business also hosted a range of other attractions for the large crowd in attendance, including the company’s shiny silver Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar, Taco Loco Mexican restaurant’s taco truck, a large food station staffed by volunteers and even a silent auction of baseballs signed by New York Yankees greats.

Proceeds raised by the annual event raise money to support donations that Bigelow Tea makes to a range of community causes.

At the starting line of the 5K Run, Cindi Bigelow, the tea company’s president and CEO, remarked, “I’ve done this for 28 years, but I always get nervous at this moment because I’m afraid I’m going to screw up the GO command.” But she pulled if off without a hitch again, and hundreds of runners kicked the event into high gear as they surged onto the course.

First-place 5K finisher was Jake Tavernite with a time of 18:01.01. Other finishers in the top 10 were: Megan Patterson, Kristen Curran, Kevin Grimes, Tyler Schumacher, Ray Vogt, Peter Hohmeister, Kyle Astle, Bruce Jordano Alday and David Ott.

For the the complete 5K race results, visit: