First Annual Joe Schwartz '83 Memorial 3K Run/Walk a Success
The first annual Joe Schwartz '83 Memorial 3K Run/Walk set off Sunday, April 20 from Haverford's Featherbed Field.
The event included over 100 participants and raised more than $2,500 in donations. The money will go toward research for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)â€”also known as Lou Gehrig's Diseaseâ€”with which Schwartz was diagnosed at age 34.
This year's run was particularly meaningful for the participants because Schwartz passed away just last March.
“Joe was a really special guy,” says Bob Hasson '83, who ran with Schwartz and now serves as assistant coach for Haverford's cross country, indoor, and spring track teams.“Throughout the whole ordeal he remained upbeat. I don't remember him saying anything bitter about his illness.”
Hasson recalls how Schwartz continued to attend Haverford running events despite becoming increasingly debilitatedâ€”up until last year when he could communicate only with his eyes.
The run was organized by Haverford's Fitness Center director and strength and conditioning coach Cory Walts, along with women's soccer coach Jamie Gluck, Fitness Center intern Bernard Fisher, and Annick McIntosh '10.
Walts says that he has wanted to promote health and fitness through a race since coming to Haverford in July, but lacked a specific cause.
“After a couple months of brainstorming,” says Walts,“Peter Leibold, class of '85, contacted me with the interest of having an event to honor Joe Schwartz, who was still alive and battling ALS at the time. Peter told me a little about Joe, and it sounded like this would be the perfect cause.”
Walts says he hopes this year's event becomes an annual tradition for years to come.
“I hope to honor Joe, raise money for ALS research, and promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle for the Haverford community, something Joe exemplified.”
-Brian F. Johnson '08