BLACK RIVER — Although the exact proceeds of the Michael J. Cerroni Memorial 5K Run/Walk have yet to be tallied, organizer Patricia Strife said the memorial scholarship should have enough cushion for three years.
“Looking at it, we’ll probably be able to do half a dozen scholarships that we’ve put away for future scholarship money. Our goal is to keep a cushion there so it becomes perpetual for future scholarships,” said Strife.
The event drew 302 racers June 29 in Black River, up by 35 racers from 2013. This marked the fourth year for the 5K, although the scholarship has been awarded since 2006. This year’s recipients were Claire Sauter and Jacob Zehr, each receiving $1,000. Zehr was unable to attend the race, but Sauter competed, finishing 141st at 32 minutes and 25.60 seconds.
The scholarship is in memory of Carthage alum Michael J. Cerroni, who passed away in 2006 following a snowmobile accident. The scholarship is awarded to one male and one female Carthage graduating senior. Eligible recipients will be judged on various criteria, including their explanation of what the word “fortitude” means to them.
“We were really pleased this year. We were up in our day-of registration and we’re hoping it will keep increasing every year. The turnout was phenomenal,” said Strife.
Strife also said the Michael Cerroni Memorial Foundation has recently received non-profit status, and all donations to the organization will be tax deductible. The foundation funds the scholarship. Donations may be made through Carthage Federal Saving and Loan and Northern New York Community Foundation.
Race day concluded with an awards ceremony, in which Keegan Rankin was awarded first overall. Lawrence Joseph Franks J.R.. and Kevin Sheehan took second and third. In the female overalls, Michelle McKamey placed first, followed by Heather Mushtare and Joelle Percy. Awards were also presented to participants in the Patriotism Award, in which Black River homes are judged by their patriotically-themed decor, and the Team Spirit Award, presented to attendees who demonstrate team unity or by wearing costume.
The Team Spirit award went to Jessica Starr and Selinda Spears.
The Patriotism Award was presented to James and Sonya Conlin, Matthew Barbalich and Dawn and James Paige.