Reflecting on the Second Annual Friends of Jaclyn 5K Race/Walk

FOJ 2009
More than 400 runners participated in the Second Annual Friends of Jaclyn 5K, helping Amherst raise more than $6,500 for the organization.

Jacob Boyer '11 from the Amherst College men's soccer team sat down to answer some questions about the relationship between Friends of Jaclyn and Amherst College, as well as reflect on the Second Annual Friends of Jaclyn 5K Race/Walk that took place on campus last weekend.

Question: Can you tell us a little about Saturday's event, and what role you played in the preparations for the day?

Answer: Following the success of first-ever F.O.J. 5K last year, we decided that for the this year's race we would form a committee with a representative from each team on campus with an adopted kid and several coaches.  We stared meeting last spring about how to make the race for this year better.  A lot of credit should go to Connie Morrison and Jess Wall as well as Coach Serpone who really took on the most work and made the race such a success.

Q: What have the last two years been like having Michael Lanosa as your team's adoptee?

A: Having Michael as part of our team is wonderful.  Friends of Jaclyn is supposed to be about improving quality of life for Michael, but there is no doubt that everyone on our team gets as much out of his presence as he does from ours.  Regardless of whether we are with him on the soccer fields, or are going bowling for his birthday, everyone loves having Michael around and is thrilled about any chance we get to be with him.  He really has an infectious smile and a personality that is just such a pleasure to be around.

Q: How has Coach Serpone's passion for this organization spread on campus and throughout New England?

A: I think the sheer number of teams that showed up is a testament to passion that Coach Serpone has for this organization.  Both within the Amherst community, and in New England, he has been a driving force behind bringing F.O.J. to the region.  I think the willingness of other teams to get so involved with F.O.J. shows how his passion has really rubbed off on people and made them inclined to really get behind the organization.

Q: How has being involved with the Friends of Jaclyn affected you and your teammates?

A: Besides simply enjoying having Michael around, being a part of F.O.J. has been tremendous for our team.  Perspective is not an easy thing to have, especially when you are wrapped up in a grueling NESCAC schedule, but both Michael and F.O.J. go a long way in providing some.  Looking at just this weekend for example, losing to Williams was incredibly tough for everyone on our team, but to have this race the following day really gives people a sense of what is truly important in life.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the size of this year's event in relation to last year's inaugural FOJ 5K Race/Walk?

A: I thought last year's race was pretty impressive in terms of turn out (I believe it was around 350).  However, this year as I was stationed on the race course telling people which way to turn, I couldn't believe how large the pack of runners was.  Not only was the visual quite amazing, but I could feel the ground shake before I even saw them.  At that moment I knew this year's race had been a huge success. We raised $6,500 for the Friends of Jaclyn this year, and that is something that we can be very proud of.

View a photo gallery from the Second Annual Friends of Jaclyn 5K Race/Walk.
Special thanks to Julie Keresztes '12 for generously donating her time on Sunday.