Bluefield College will host its Fourth Annual Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship Challenge 5K Run, Saturday, September 10, and when the athletes hit the road at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Dome Gymnasium, they’ll be running for more than just awards and accolades.
The sprinters will be running for scholarships and to preserve the memory of a local college student who lost his life before fulfilling his dream of becoming a teacher.
A Bluefield College junior from Tazewell, Virginia, majoring in math education, Jason Elswick died in October 2005 following a tragic car accident. In order to help students just like Jason fulfill their dream of becoming a teacher, his parents, David and Pam Elswick of Tazewell, along with family and friends, established the Jason Elswick Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The 5K Run each fall is designed to support the scholarship fund and ultimately maintain Jason’s legacy on the BC campus while providing vital financial aid for future students.
“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 live on through the lives of the students receiving the scholarship awards.”
This year’s 5K Run to support the Elswick Scholarship Fund will begin at 8:30 a.m., following pre-race registration from 7:30 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.
The race will begin at the Dome Gymnasium on the BC campus in Bluefield, Virginia, and continue right onto Stadium Drive and then left onto College Avenue into Bluefield, West Virginia. Runners will then take a left onto Copley Avenue and left again onto Augusta Street, before going right onto Ferndell and then left back onto Stadium Drive. The race will conclude with runners passing through the Mitchell Stadium parking lot to Bowen Field, through the City Park loop, and then back to the Dome Gymnasium for the finish line.
Awards will be presented to the top three overall male and female runners and the top three male and female participants in each of the following age categories: 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.
In addition, this year’s Elswick 5K will feature a “Feast after the Race” at Outback Steakhouse in Princeton, West Virginia. All race participants will receive a ticket for a post-race meal at Outback that will include a filet or chicken, salad, garlic mashed potatoes, bread, and a beverage.
The entry fee for the 5K Challenge is $20, if paid by September 2, and $25 if paid after September 2. Pre-registered runners are guaranteed an official race t-shirt and one ticket to the “Feast after the Race.” Participants registering after September 2 will receive a t-shirt only if supplies remain and must purchase a “Feast after the Race” ticket separately for $10.
Participants may walk the 5K, instead of run. In addition, friends who do not wish to run or walk in the Elswick Challenge can still contribute to the scholarship fund and to the preservation of Jason’s memory by sending a gift to Bluefield College, c/o The Elswick Scholarship Challenge, 3000 College Drive, Bluefield, Virginia, 24605.
Race sponsorships are available for a gift of $100 and include two tickets to the “Feast after the Race” and recognition on the official race t-shirt. Feast tickets may also be purchased without participating in the race for a cost of $10 each.
“We cannot express the extent of our gratitude and appreciation for the thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity of everyone who has helped keep our son’s spirit alive,” said David and Pam Elswick. “Helping those in need was a large part of Jason’s personality, and we are asking the community to help us do the same.”
For more information about the Scholarship Challenge 5K Run, contact Bluefield College by phone at 276.326.4208 or via e-mail at [email protected] For convenient online registration, visit www.bluefield.edu/elswick5k.