Olivia’s Wish keeps memory alive

We would like to thank all of the sponsors and volunteers who helped make the third annual Olivia’s 5K Wish Run/Walk a huge success.

The weather was like a day in July: 80s, hot and humid. We hosted more than 500 runners, walkers and supporters who came from different states and all over New York.

Olivia passed away on March 4, 2010, from triple negative breast cancer at the young age of 32. Her last two wishes were that we hold a run/walk in her name so that we could raise funds for a memorial scholarship, and so that we could donate to this type of breast cancer research. She was a special ed teacher at Silver Creek High School.

We have succeeded in granting both of her wishes. We gave away seven Olivia Coia Memorial scholarships at six different high schools this past year, and raised $10,000 for triple negative breast cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute under the direction of Dr. Eric Winer.

Our goal this year was to try to raise more money for research than we did last year, and to give away 10 Olivia Coia Memorial scholarships at local schools.

Here are some of the winners from the run/walk, held Oct. 6 at Evangola State Park:

For the second year in a row, Ray Graf from Silver Creek had the fastest time of the day with 17:03. He was on a team, though, so the overall individual male award went to Joshua Wheeler from Lake Shore with a time of 17:14.

The fastest female of the day was Arielle Januszkiewicz with a 21:03. She was also on a team, so the female overall individual award went to 11-year-old Emily Brown of Fredonia, with a time of 23:42.

The first-place team award went to the Silver Creek Men’s Cross Country team. The top four runners on the team were Jake Mullen with 19:55, Jacob McDaneld with 19:58, James Corbin with 20:14 and Jack McAlevey with 21:01.

The second-place team award went to the Silver Creek Women’s Cross Country team. The top four runners were Hannah Seiders with 21:42, Emma Seiders with 21:57, Sara Adams with 24:04 and Claire Castiglia with 24:23.

The third-place team award went to the 7 Runners Club. The top four runners were Arielle Januszkiewicz with 21:03, Diane Herzog with 22:27, Catherine Zagedzinski with 24:57 and Lindsay Weiss with 26:35.

The top individual fundraiser of the year was Amanda Coia from Lake Shore High School. For the second year in a row, her dedicated efforts have earned her this title. She raised over $830 by herself. Other individual top fund-raisers were Sister Gerry Murray of Lackawanna, Henrietta Coia of Angola and Dena Wagner of Tonawanda. We thank these people and all of the fundraisers who helped this year. Every amount helps out with what we are trying to do.

Local high schools are still fundraising during October, and we will have awards for the top three schools later this year. Last year Fredonia schools held “Pink Out the Schools” and raised close to $1,400 in just one week!

Anyone can still make a donation. Just make a check out to “Olivia Coia’s Wish Run” and mail it to NCCF, 212 Lake Shore Drive W., Dunkirk NY 14048. Fundraising happens all year for us; the run/walk is just one part of it. Also, we are always looking for sponsors to help our cause for next year.

The winner of the girl’s pink bike was Sylvia Patterson of Silver Creek. The winner of the Dewalt grinder and disc gift set from Flexovit was Gary Hubert of Derby. The split raffle was won by Lynn Wasielewski of Angola.

Thank you to our financial sponsors and those who donated other items, including food and gifts for the Chinese auction and post party. All of you have made this third year a huge success.

Thank you to X-Press signs in West Seneca for all the banners, plus they did a great job with the wrap on my car promoting Olivia’s 5K Wish Run. It was used as a pace car to lead the runners and walkers around the course. Also, thank you to Mark James and Kix Country for helping out at the event.

Here is a list of all our other sponsors for 2013 – we thank them for their help and generosity:

Cross Family Vineyards, Silver Creek Firehouse on the Lake, F. E. Muschauer Family Foundation, Maximum Force Wrestling, Napa Auto Parts Inc. of Silver Creek, Ellie’s Deli, Silver Creek Schools & Teachers Association, Lake Shore Schools & Teachers Association, Forestville Schools & Teachers Association, Fredonia Schools & Teachers Association, Pine Valley Schools & Teachers Association, Cassadaga Valley Schools & Teachers Association, Gowanda Schools & Teachers Association, Brocton Schools & Teachers Association, Flexovit, Kix Country 96.5100.3, WDOE 1410 AM94.9 FM, Hair’s Looking at You, Evangola State Park, Farnham Volunteer Fire Department.

Walmart, Park Avenue Imprints, Save-a-Lot, the OBSERVER, Derby Small Animal Clinic, Road ID, CCK Realty Company, Liberty Vineyards & Winery, Fredonia Beaver Club, Kosciuszko Polish Home Association, Forestville Animal Hospital, Matt’s Tick-Tock Towing and Recovery, D&F Pallet, G&E Tents Tables and Chairs, Tops of Silver Creek, Silver Creek Optical, A.D. Titus Monuments, Lads Pet Supply, Linda Corey, Joy Patterson, George and Melissa Brunn, Judy and Mike Burghardt, Becky Dix, Jose and Christy Vega, Gary and Marion Vassallo, Grape Country Candles, Dunkirk Electric Motor Repairs, Cliffstar Corporation, Jim White’s Truck & Auto Center, Pompenders Auto, Gymnastics Society of Polish Falcons, Lauren Brill, Channel 4 News, Goya Foods Great Lakes, Fredonia Heating & Plumbing, Maria’s Pizza, Joey V’s Pizza, Pasquales restaurant, Skullyz Lakeside Market, Sunset Bay Restaurant, Tom’s Family Restaurant, Sears of Fredonia, Evans Ace Hardware.

Millers’ Bait Store, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Harbor Cruises, Buffalo Bisons, Signals gas station and store, JCPenney, Dan and Susan, Shelby Sek, Jerry and Katie Cross, Rick and Alissa Pawlak, Marge Bates, Henrietta Coia, Gary and Diane Hubert, Dina and Kelly McDaneld, Cheryl Smith, Holly Marcey, Marcy Sweetman, Big Lots, Advanced Auto Parts, BAC, Chautauqua Health & Fitness, Gamerz Haven, Maurice’s, Pepsi, Merritt Estate Winery, Dr. Bernard Eisen, Olson Paving, William Kozak, Jeff Karszes, Tom Meka, Joe, Mary, Audrey and Michelle from Evangola, Linda Connor, WNY Finish Line, Pampered Paws, Michelle Patterson, O’Malia’s Liquor Store, Grossmans Outlet, Sportsman restaurant, Crino’s Music, Jane Falcone, Milt and Jean Cross, Jim Gardner, Terry Everts, Coach Ray Graf, Jordan Campese, Jose Vega, Christina Jewell, Jon Osterdahl, Warpath from MFW and Mike Steven Waterson, Patty Friend and Ashante Wilson.

We would also like to thank anyone I may have missed in the above list, and also all of our volunteers and helpers who did so much the day of the event. Without you we never could have done this, and make Oliva’s last wishes and memory live on.

All the money we raised goes directly to Olivia’s Memorial Scholarship funds and to research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston under the direction of Dr. Winer. Any school or person who would like to help out next year can contact us in early 2014 so we can get you started. Email coiadavid@yahoo.com.

We will be at Evangola next year on Oct. 5, 2014. We hope to see our run/walk grow to 1,000-plus participants in time. I know this community can do it and help us with our cause.

Thank you to all!