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HAP Sponsorship Saves Detroit’s Annual New Year’s Eve Run

DETROIT – In the nick of time, Health Alliance Plan has provided crucial funding to save the 48th Annual Belle Isle New Year's Eve Family Fun Run/Walk. The Belle Isle run is the longest continuously-held running event in Michigan. Thanks to HAP’s sponsorship, it will be held as planned on Sunday, Dec. 31.

Jeanne Bocci, a former nationally ranked race walker, and Jerry Bocci, an ex-college track athlete, started the race in 1970 with a handful of Grosse Pointe Park friends and neighbors. Since the inaugural event, the annual New Year’s Eve race has attracted thousands. The 2016 race itself garnered nearly 1,000 participants.

“HAP’s deep community roots are at the heart of everything we do,” said DeAndre Lipscomb, vice president of marketing and community outreach for HAP. “We couldn’t stand by and let a popular event like the Belle Isle New Year’s Eve Run disappear because of a funding gap. We’re glad that everything will go on as planned and that people will have another chance to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of Belle Isle.”

The family-friendly event begins at the Belle Isle Casino with a one-mile race for children and an open fun run at 3:30 p.m. The 5K run and walk begins at 4 p.m. Free parking will be available throughout Belle Isle Park.

The 5K course is a USA Track & Field certified course, which takes runners and walkers on a scenic tour through the center of the island facing Canada. The one-mile course covers the southern tip of Belle Isle and includes a beautiful view of the newly restored Scott Fountain. 

All courses are favored by the Downtown Runners & Walkers running club that annually participates in the New Year’s Eve run. The event’s success is driven by these dedicated runners and the hard work of local volunteers. This support is invaluable to founder and event organizer Jeanne Bocci.  

"I am so excited that HAP came through to help us carry on this tradition. We are so thrilled that we’ve named HAP’s donation the ‘Event Saver Sponsorship,’" said Jeanne Bocci, Belle Isle New Year’s Eve Walk/Run founder. "The New Year’s Eve run is like a family tradition and I can’t imagine a year without it."

Other sponsors include Henry Ford Health System, DTE Energy, Hanson’s Running Shops, Live in Woodbridge, Siegel Chiropractic, Absopure Water and Royal Banana. 

Entry fees are $20 for children 12 and under, $40 for individuals 13 and older, now through Dec. 21. Participants are encouraged to pre-register at Runner Sports, Hansons Running Shop and Run Detroit until Dec. 29 or on race day at the Belle Isle Casino from noon until 3 p.m. Visit for more information. 

About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 650,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, and personalized customer service. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts

Ebony Dooley

Health Alliance Plan (HAP)

(248) 443-7847


Jeanne Bocci

Belle Isle New Year's Eve Run

(313) 715-5560