Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charity fundraiser held in honor of former graduate


     The 6th annual 5K fund-raising event “Run, Walk, and Roll” was held last Saturday at Valencia's west campus. 225 participants paid to race and raise money for all of Valencia's scholarship programs. The event was in honer of former Valencia graduate and Valencia alumni board member, Justin Harvey, whose story inspires and helps students six years after his tragic death.

     As a student in the sports medicine department at the University of Central Florida, Harvey worked with the Valencia alumni board to organize the first 5K race as a partnership between the two campuses. Harvey was hospitalized and later passed away before he could see his idea come to fruition.

     Sharon Skoloski, Justin's mother and a professor at Valencia's West Campus, recalled what her son has done through his life for other students. "He did a lot of great things with and for Valencia,” said Skoloski. “He was never able to finish school, but this fund-raising event, in his memory, helps other students to realize their own dreams."

 
(Click Above to watch video)
(Produced by James Tutten)
 
     Mary Myers, a Valencia alumni board member, was a friend of Harvey’s when he attended Valencia. Myers said, "He had dreams of graduating from UCF and never realized that dream, which is why this is such a great partnership between the two campuses to raise money to help other students. Valencia hosts the event and UCF sends members of their sports medicine department to help runners warm up before the race".

     Ralf Jenne, a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Valencia’s West campus, has participated in the past four races. Jenne said, "I always try to win my age group, last time I came in second and would love to win this year." Professor Jenne finished 10th overall with a time of 23:03.3 and winning first place fore his age group of males 40-44.

     The 5K race is open for all runners and speed walkers to compete, with medals awarded to the top three male and female racers divided into groups based on age and affiliations. Trophies were awarded to the the top place and first masters for male and female participants.

     This event was successful in raising money, and keeping the legacy of Justin Harvey alive. Justin's mom, Professor Skoloski said, “My family and I want to thank everyone for all their hard work and participation and remind everyone of Justin’s motto ‘May you all shine out loud.’”

     For additional details concerning the race continue onto the sports section on page and for more information on the Alpha Gamma Omega Justin Harvey Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa visit their web site at http://www.scholarships.ptk.org/

By James Tutten
info@jamestutten.com

(Published: April 13, 2011 issue of "Valencia Voice" on page 4.)

(Above photo courtesy of Don Burlinson / Valencia College)

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