PLATTSBURGH - The second annual "Race for Stace" has raised approximately $8,500 and that figure is one expected to increase.
The five-kilometer walk/run event was held at the PARC Oval April 25, raising money for the Stacey Lynn Frechette Scholarship Fund, which annually awards $1,500 to a local high school senior and gymnast looking to further his or her education. The fund was established in memory of Frechette, a 24-year-old Mooers Elementary School teacher and former gymnast, whose life was tragically cut short in a 2007 automobile accident.
Approximately 450 people participated in the event under sunny skies, much to the delight of event organizers.
"Obviously, we had a great day, weather-wise, and the weather's one thing, but it's the people that make the event special," said Stacey Lynn Frechette's brother, Justin Frechette.
Their mother, Susan Frechette, agreed.
"We wanted the event to be about community and family and that's what we hope it portrayed," said Susan Frechette. "We're all about family."
Seeing people participating - young and old, competitive runners and noncompetitive participants - was what made the even truly special, said Susan Frechette.
"It just did my heart wonders to see that," she said.
This year's event included the naming of the 2009 scholarship recipient, which was Brittney Mckinstry from the Beekmantown Central School District.
However, Justin Frechette surprised the crowd when he announced Mckinstry would not be the only student to receive a scholarship this year. The Frechette family decided to award a second $1,500 scholarship to student Renee Egan from Seton Catholic Central School.
The decision was made to help as many students as possible each year, while maintaining a fund that will be able to continue for as long as humanly possible, said Justin Frechette.
"Stacey was a person, for everyone that knew her, that lived her life trying to help people," he said. "And, through this scholarship, we're able to continue to allow Stacey to help someone."
Those who would like to continue to make donations to the Stacey Lynn Frechette Scholarship Fund may do so by contacting Blake or Susan Frechette at 562-0926.