When many people think of their dream vacation, it takes place by the pool of a cruise ship or on a tour of Europe. When Mineola resident Jennifer Lipack, MAP Director for Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW thinks about a vacation, it comes in a very different form.
Jennifer likes to travel to “run-cations.” What is a runcation? Jennifer explains. “A runcation is when you get together with a group of friends and run in different marathons and half marathons around the country.”
Jennifer loves her runcations, so much so that she will compete in 7 or 8 in 2016. Jennifer has specialized in half marathons while taking in the scenery in numerous cities. Jennifer commented on her travels, “I’ve run in Disney, New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston. I’ve met a great group of friends who run. Wherever I travel, I know running friends will also be along. It’s a great time.”
The running community is extremely supportive of not for profit causes. Most races benefit a charity. Jennifer finds this to be added motivation. She said, “It’s always added motivation to do your best when you know others are benefitting from your efforts.”
Jennifer is honored to be running for the United Way of Long Island Team Mission United. She has seen the work of United Way first hand.
Jennifer is the Member Assistance Director for Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW which includes supermarket and drug store employees, health care workers, pharmacists, delivery workers, and employees at warehouses and numerous other retail food services. As a certified social worker, Jen is responsible for lending assistance to Union members who might be suffering from substance abuse issues, mental health needs or housing difficulties.
Jennifer was thankful that United Way of Long Island worked collaboratively with Local 338 during an employment crisis. Jennifer recalled, “Many of our members were left with a host of critical problems when both A&P and Walbaum’s went out of business. United Way was quick to respond to us with numerous resources to help our members get back on their feet.”
When her supervisor John Durso, the President of both RWDSU Local 338 and the Long Island Federation of Labor and also the Immediate Past Chairman of United Way of Long Island asked her to run, she saw it as an honor. Jen commented, “I know how deeply involved the Union is with United Way and I see Mr. Durso’s deep commitment to the organization. I want to help maintain that legacy while helping veterans.”
Her goals for the race? Jennifer quite simply says “To finish injury free!”