5K honors Greenfield-Central students who have died

GREENFIELD — Grassy Reynolds feels waves of somberness and cheerfulness during the 3.1 miles she runs in the event.

On Saturday, she’ll participate in the fourth annual A Run to Remember, a 5K run/walk that celebrates three Greenfield-Central High School students whose lives were cut short. The event is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Greenfield-Central track facility.

“It’s sad and tragic to lose people so young, but the race is a great way to keep people alive in our memory,” said Reynolds, a friend of the Culver family who has participated in the event each year.

The 5K was conceived by the families of three Greenfield-Central students who died before graduation or shortly after. Zachariah Lett was a sophomore when he died in an automobile accident; Todd Lewis graduated in 2006 and lost his battle with cancer the following October; and the same day Lewis’ friends and family were mourning his death sophomore Benjamin Culver died in another car accident.

All money raised from the event is divided between the Greenfield-Central High School track and field program and the memorial scholarships of Culver, Lett and Lewis.

The race proceeds, along with donations and money raised each year by the senior class, are awarded as college scholarships to Greenfield-Central High School graduating seniors. Between the race, the Cougar Cuisine silent auction and donations, the families have awarded more than $58,000 to Greenfield-Central seniors, said Paula Culver, Benjamin Culver’s mother.

The 5K course starts with two laps around the track at the high school. Participants then run or walk two loops on concrete sidewalks, grass and dirt trails before returning to the track for the finish.

The fee to participate is $25 for adults and $15 for students. Packet pickup and registration are at 7:30 a.m. race day, with the race beginning at 9 a.m.

For the parents of the young men being honored, the event is emotionally taxing, but fulfilling.

Seeing people work together to keep the boys’ legacies alive is moving, said Becky Lett, Zach Lett’s mother.

“My biggest fear is that it wouldn’t keep going on,” she said, adding that the Greenfield-Central graduating class of 2005 established a $10,000 perpetual scholarship in Lett’s memory. “I am praying it doesn’t tap out at some point.”

Garrett Benedict, one of the recipients of the Culver Scholarship, said he enjoys returning to Greenfield-Central to participate in the annual event as a way to show his appreciation for the scholarship.

“It’s a really good way for the whole community to get together,” Benedict said.

A Run to Remember

The fourth annual A Run to Remember is scheduled for Saturday. The 5k walk/run honors three Greenfield-Central High School students who died before graduation or shortly after.

What: A Run to Remember

Where: Greenfield-Central High School track

When: Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with the race starting at 9 a.m.

Cost: $15 for students; $25 for everyone else

For more information or to register visit getmeregistered.com/GCHSARunToRemember.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.