Bluefield University will host its 12th Annual Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship 5K Challenge, on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The 5K Run/Walk will help to preserve the memory of a local college student who lost his life before becoming a teacher.
Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and the race will begin at 8:30 a.m. The registration fee for runners/walkers is $20 if paid before September 1 and $25 if paid after September 1; the cost for Bluefield University students, faculty, staff (with a valid college ID) is $10. To register for the Elswick 5K, visit the Bluefield University website at www.bluefield.edu/elswick5k. For participants who pre-register, they will receive a souvenir Elswick 5K race t-shirt.
Jason Elswick died in October 2005 due to a tragic car accident. His parents, David and Pam Elswick, wanted to help students like Jason fulfill their dreams of becoming a teacher. After that, they decided to establish the Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship Fund. The 5K Run/Walk, which is held at Bluefield University each fall, helps in remembering the life of Elswick while also providing financial support to other students majoring in teacher education at Bluefield University.
“It is our desire that many students with the same goals and wonderful characteristics as Jason be helped through this scholarship,” said David and Pam Elswick. “It is also our wish that Jason’s memory lives on through the lives of the students receiving the scholarship awards.”
Participants will begin the race at the Dome in Bluefield, Virginia. From there, they will turn right onto Stadium Drive and left onto College Avenue leading them into Bluefield, West Virginia. They then take a left onto Copley Avenue, and another left onto Augusta Street. They will turn right onto Ferndell Avenue and back to Stadium Drive. The race will conclude with participants passing through the Mitchell Stadium parking lot, Bowen Field, the City Park loop, and ending back at the Dome Gymnasium.
Both male and female participants who finish in the top three spots will be presented with an award. Additionally, medals will be given to the top three participants of each of the following age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, and 65 and over.
Jill Rasnick of Tazewell, Virginia, a veteran supporter of the Elswick 5K, lost her son, T.J., to cancer when he was just 19-years-old. She spoke of how she knew Jason and described him as a “sweet boy.”
“I was a teacher at Tazewell Elementary School, and I knew Jason,” said Rasnick. “We lost our son, T.J., to cancer in 2010. When I run, I say a little prayer for him. I know how the Elswick’s feel. It’s hard. This is a great thing to do to keep their son’s memory.”
“There really are no words to express how grateful we are for all the hard work, kindness and generosity of everyone in supporting Jason’s scholarship,” said the Elswicks. “The scholarship exists because businesses and individuals came together to help create something good from such a tragedy. We love and miss our son very much and ask that you hold us in your heart and prayers and help us keep Jason’s loving and giving spirit alive.”
Friends who do not wish to run or walk in the 5K, but still would like to contribute to the scholarship fund and the preservation of Jason’s memory may do so by sending a gift to Bluefield University, c/o The Elswick Scholarship Challenge, 3000 College Avenue, Bluefield, Virginia, 24605.