A breezy May morning greeted runners and walkers at E.G.Simmons Park on May 19, when East Bay’s Student Government Association hosted its first 5K4Q Run to help a former student and SGA member who was brutally attacked outside the Bloomingdale Regional Library in 2008.
One hundred and eighty-seven participants navigated the 3.1-mile course, which was set up and run by student volunteers. Kristian Aquino of Riverview was the overall male winner, with a time of 18:49, while Tracy Halfman of Valrico won the overall female group, with a time of 24:15.
The attack survivor and her family joined participants and volunteers to distribute medals and offer thanks. Through the generosity of event sponsors, all expenses for the event were covered, and more than $4,300 in race entry fees went directly to the survivor for ongoing medical and therapy treatments.
The survivor, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy, continues to work hard to regain her ability to see, speak and walk on her own, but has made significant progress over the past year through the help of many caring people.
5K4Q sponsors included The Cybrix Group, Chromalloy, D&L Insurance, Fringe Benefits Salon, Hungry Howie’s and the Apollo Beach Golf Club. Donations were provided by Ace Hardware, Cypress Creek Golf Club, Buffalo Wild Wings, Poppi’s Pizza, Costco and Publix.
East Bay’s SGA plans to continue the event next year, and hopes to raise even more money to help their former classmate with her recovery.