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Minnechaug students host 5K in honor of classmate

Date: 5/22/2014

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM – Students at Minnechaug Regional High School are literally taking steps to help a member of their community afflicted with cancer.

Minnechaug teacher Michael Scanlon’s marketing and management classes will host a 5K road race on May 24 in support of the Stephen Strong Fund, which was established for the sophomore student to help defray the cost of his treatment.

Kaitlynn Leo, a member of the class, explained that the course requires that students complete a final project in which they would utilize the skills obtained during the year. She added that having the opportunity to do that while helping another seemed appropriate.

“We learned just recently that a kid in our school was diagnosed with an illness that was taking a really drastic effect on his health,” she said. “He’s a part of the Minnechaug community and obviously we want to do whatever we can to help him out.”

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with an 11 a.m. start. Registration is $20 and includes a free T-shirt for the first 100 registrants. The race begins and ends at Minnechaug with the course taking runners through a number of side roads to Fountain Park before returning to the school.

Student Kelsey Jones added that a 5K was chosen in part as a tribute to Strong, a member of the school’s cross country team.

“The whole thing about cross country is you run 5K’s on a weekly basis,” Jones said.

Classmate Shelby Butova added, “Even though he can’t run it, everyone else can for him.”

Student Joseph Drost explained that in order to coordinate the event, the class broke into four different groups – operations, financials, sponsorships and advertising. The sponsorship group, he said, has been actively calling and visiting local businesses in the hopes of getting donations. With the help of the advertising group they designed the T-shirt and have been very successful in selling space on the shirts.

The operations group, he said, was responsible for the planning of the actual race, including mapping out the course and developing prizes for the top finishers. Big Y has donated water, while B.J.’s has donated fruit for runners. Attain Physical Therapy is also on board to conduct a pre-race warm up session.

Those with questions regarding the event can contact Scanlon at or 596-9011 ext. 6130.