Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JCC Road Race honors Levitt family


The 30th Annual Beat the Heat 5K Road Race is honoring community leaders Keith and Julie Levitt, shown here with their children, Brook and Brandon.

The Roth Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando will honor community leaders Keith and Julie Levitt at this year’s 30th Annual Beat-the-Heat 5K Road Race. This year’s event will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday July 24, beginning and ending at the Roth Jewish Community Center campus.

When one mentions the Levitt family, three thoughts come to mind: the JCC, running and helping children. Keith, who grew up in Maitland (son of Ken and Jackie who have also been extremely active in the JCC), has been a member of the Roth JCC since its inception and attended summer camp throughout his younger years.

Keith and Julie met at Ohio State University and have been active in the Jewish community since they moved back to Central Florida as newlyweds in 1995. They continue to stay active in various JCC events and always look to do more for the community.

Keith, as well as his father and brothers, own Oakley signs and Graphics, a national manufacturer of real estate signs. Keith, a seasoned runner, has organized the JCC Beat-the-Heat 5K for the past 15 years, and it continues to be one of his biggest passions. Last year he completed an 11-year quest—a marathon in each state.

Julie has embraced running as part of her life, as well, by running several half marathons and supporting Keith through his amazing accomplishment. Julie served on the JCC board of directors for several years, as chairwoman for the Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center and as vice president of Children Services. She has also co-founded and chaired Maj Madness, the JCC’s annual mah jongg tournament, for the past 10 years. She is presently a program director for the Jewish Pavilion and an advisor for the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority at UCF.

Keith and Julie’s children, Brook and Brandon, are both Richard S. Adler Early Childhood Learning Center graduates and attended the JCC camp for many years. Brandon is involved in the JCC Rebels basketball program, AZA, BBYO and most recently served on the teen task force for J-Serve. Brooke says she is looking forward to her bat mitzvah this November.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Beat-the-Heat Road Race. Founded in 1983 by Dr. Eli Porth and Eli Bercovici, the race event continues to be one of Central Florida’s most popular road races.

“The race is open to the entire community and is geared for all participants from seasoned to novice runners of all ages,” says race chair Keith Levitt. “We encourage everyone to enjoy the spirit of completion and camaraderie of a group race and poolside family style festivities/award ceremonies that will take place afterwards.”

The 5K starts from the Jewish Academy of Greater Orlando parking lot with the race course running around parts of Lake Sybelia and finishing back at the JCC.

The cost to participate in the 5K is $23 before July 24 and $28 on race day. The quarter-mile kid run is free. The registration fee includes race registration, race shirt while supplies last, plus pizza and sodas. Beer is available for all registered runners 21 years and up. Guests who are not participating in the race can enjoy dinner for $5.

All proceeds from this race event benefit the Marvin Friedman Children Scholarship Fund. This fund enables individuals and families with financial limitations to participate in a wide variety of JCC programs. The JCC has provided more than $1,000,000 in the past four years to ensure that no child was turned away due to financial hardship.

For sponsorship opportunities contact, sports director Eli Bercovici at 407-645-5933, ext. 259 or email elib@orlandojcc.org. You can register to run by logging on at  www.orlandojcc.org.


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