The "Girls in the Groove" and the "Boys on the Move" running programs of New Milford will run a five-kilometer "Toy Run Fun Run" Sunday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. at New Milford High School.

The 18 girls and 15 boys had been training to run the Christmas Run for the Kids 5K that day in New Milford but that race was canceled due in part to opposition from several downtown merchants.

"We will still be collecting toys for Social Services," said race organizer Daniela Esposito, "so if you can, bring a donation. Toy or no toy, we hope [people] will cheer the kids on, run with [them], and help promote the spirit of this holiday season."

The loss of the Run for the Kids cost the children the chance to run the race in town, but parents have rallied to set up Sunday's event as an alternative.

"We hope to turn this into a learning experience for the children," said Mrs. Esposito, "about overcoming obstacles."

"The race is the culmination of three months of training, and we were all deeply disappointed for these kids when the race was canceled," she said.