Recapping the Third Annual "Friends of Jaclyn Race/Walk"
View a photo gallery from the 3rd Annual FOJ Race/Walk.
AMHERST, MA – Roughly 250 runners and walkers gathered at Amherst College's Alumni Gym this past Sunday for the 3rd Annual “Friends of Jaclyn Race/Walk,” an event run by student-athletes with 100 percent of the profits and donations going to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
Friends of Jaclyn arrived at Amherst in the fall of 2007 when the men’s soccer team adopted Michael Lanosa, a nine-year old boy with a brain tumor. Four years later, five Amherst varsity teams—and hundreds of other varsity teams in the country—have adopted children in an effort to support the Foundation.
The previous two Friends of Jaclyn races yielded hundreds of runners and thousands of dollars raised for the foundation. In 2010, Amherst was presented the NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Award for its work with the Race/Walk.
John Wagner ’12, current member of the Amherst baseball team, won the male division of the race, while first-year swimmer Lauren Belak ’14 won the female division.
Keynote speakers included Anne Chaffin, executive assistant for the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation; Mark Crane ’11, a current men's soccer player at Amherst; and Joe Widman, father of the Amherst football team’s adoptee, Joey Widman.
Crane highlighted the effect that program has on the student-athletes involved with the foundation. “I'm sure that the kids love supporting our teams, but really it's such an eye opener for the athletes to gain some perspective on our lives in college. We are so lucky and these young children help us realize that.”
Amherst men’s soccer head coach Justin Serpone hopes the event will continue for many years to come. "There's such a wonderful energy that comes from the race every year. We're going to do whatever we can to support the great work of the student-athletes to make this event a reality long into the future."
View a photo gallery from the 3rd Annual Friends of Jaclyn Race/Walk, courtesy of Julie Keresztes ’12.