NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton Airport will be closing down its runway and opening it up to runners and walkers for “Runway 5K” on Sunday.

The unique event, which is the first of its kind in western Massachusetts, will straighten and flatten out the typical five-kilometer race and has already fulfilled capacity, with 270 entrants. The starting horn will go off at 9 a.m., with a course that will run the length of the runway, then turn and loop back around to the start.

“Runway 5K” will give people the opportunity to go where only planes travel, and also will host crafts for kids, and the appearance of flying machines rarely seen on runways these days.

More than $40,000 in funds have been raised so far for Treehouse Foundation, a local organization that helps children in foster care. The non-profit organization has created a 120-member community of parents, kids, and elders living in an intentional community in Easthampton.

Planners hope to earn at least $70,000 from this event in their first year, and they have already raised more than half. For more information, or to donate, please visit their website.

Andrea and Bob Bacon, owners of the Northampton Airport are closing off the runway for this cause. “Growing up, a lot of people help us out along the way. This is a great way for us to help others as they grow up,” Bob says.

According to a release sent to 22News from the Treehouse Foundation, Treehouse kids are breaking the cycle of poverty and problems too long associated with foster care. One hundred percent of Treehouse children remain with their adoptive families through to adulthood; they are never returned to the foster care system. An average of 95 percent graduate from high school go on to college or vocational training. Compared to the national data associated with foster care, Treehouse children and youth are soaring.