By Sherry Graham
We recently ran a story about the upcoming My School Color Run to benefit the Emma Graham Scholarship Fund. Emma’s mother Sherry Graham graciously offers this wonderful piece to encourage as many runners, walkers and strollers to consider joining in the fun for a great cause.
How do you get an old lady with a serious aversion to public exercise off the couch?
The combined forces of My School Color Run, graciously supported by Gena Dietz and the NMS Running club, and the Emma Graham Scholarship through the Fremont Area Community Foundation. I am ready to run and walk and have a good time with my friends.
I even have a tutu this year.
My daughter Emma was a top 10 Freshman and I was a newly hired teacher’s aide, when she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010. From the moment I made a late night panic call to the first staff member I had in my phone until today I have experienced Lion Pride to its fullest. I think the entire community came out to support our family.
At the time there were gifts of time, food, gas cards, thousands of cards, money, being on the homecoming court, a personal jazz band performance, being the grand marshal in the Logging Fest parade and countless visits that made Emma’s illness the best it could be. An administrator in our schools used to say “Whatever Emma wants….”and I think that summed up the outpouring of love our community lavished on our family. I felt like I didn’t lose a daughter, the town gained one.
Emma planned to attend college, but life had different plans. We started a scholarship in 2013 in her honor. Higher education is important but it is difficult and expensive. This is our family’s way of showing we believe in the power of potential.
NMS Running Club had its start in 2013 as well. That year the members celebrated their hard work at the end of the year with a fun run to earn some money for the scholarship so they invited all their friends to join them. A girl told me she was running for Emma, I told her the scholarship is for her and her classmates. That first year we had 6 runners I think, but it brought a lot of people out to show their support. That first scholarship was $500. We’ve both grown since then. It’s not just a few friends, the Color Run enables lots of friends to come out to show their Lion Pride.
Today our scholarship is $1,000, with the goal of increasing that amount until it covers a semester’s worth of books, then a semester, then who knows... Personally, I’d love to see a full ride scholarship come from our little community.
Come join us for the Color Run September 17, 2:00 at Newaygo Middle School as we celebrate community and love of running.
Love of wearing paint is optional.
Let’s get off the couch.
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