Hundreds from the community stepped up to the "Challenge" issued by Bigelow Tea bright and early Sunday as the Fairfield company raced to raise a fresh cache of cash to support a host of charitable causes -- and have fun while doing it.

The Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport was ground zero for Bigelow Tea's 27th Community Challenge, consisting of a certified 5-K road race, 2-mile non-competitive fitness walk and a fun run for children.

There was also a range of vendors on hand, as well as fuel in the form of food. And, of course, tea.

The event was organized once again by the family-owned tea company to benefit a host of charities and community organizations, and by the end of the day, push the overall total raised over the last 27 years past the $1 million mark.

This year, the event raised money for 18 causes, ranging from the Connecticut Food Bank -- which also had a stuff-a-truck on hand for food donations -- to the Fairfield YMCA to Operation Hope.

More than 100 volunteers helped keep all the activities running.

"All of us love Connecticut and Fairfield, and it's a joy to give back to the community and see everybody here running, smiling and laughing. It's sheer goodness," said Cindi Bigelow, third-generation CEO and president of Bigelow Tea. "And we love when people enjoy our tea. The more they drink, the more we can do in the community -- so drink more tea."