On Sunday, six area high school senior recipients received scholarships from the Tamaqua Runners Club. The presentation was in prelude to their 23rd annual Chris and Kevin Truskey Memorial Run / Walk set for next Saturday at the Tuscarora State Park.
The awards consisted of four $750 awards and two $500 awards.
Receiving the awards were first place Tamaqua senior male finisher David Frederick ($750) who plans to attend Penn State University; first place Tamaqua senior female finisher Emily Bumbulsky ($750), who plans to attend Penn State University; first place male secondary winner Brendan Shearn ($750), who plans to attend University of Pennsylvania; first place female secondary winner Goldie Nictra ($750) who plans on joining the United States Air Force; second place female secondary winner Mairead Casey ($500), who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh; and second place male secondary winner Codi Wood ($500), who plans to attend Penn State University.
The competitive event will consist of a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run and travel through the park and macadam road surfaces of the scenic Tuscarora State Park
The event will also include free food, beverages, door prizes for participants. Plaques will be awarded to overall 5-K & 10-K winners, with medals given to other age categories.
The race was first held in 1991 to honor the memory of Chris Truskey, who died as a result of a car accident in September of 1990, only a few months after his Tamaqua high school graduation.
Chris was a former high school cross country runner under coach Ray Edwards and ran practices at Tuscarora State Park. A family friend, Wendy Dunkelberger of Tamaqua, was approached about starting a memorial race for Chris Truskey. Dunkelberger got together with the Truskey family, Drew Benyo of Jim Thorpe, and other volunteers and friends to organize the run.
This also lead to the creation of the Tamaqua Runners Club (TRC). Serving in the club are officers Dunkelberger, who serves as President; Wayne Truskey (Chris's and Kevin's father), Vice President; Pat Truskey (mother), member; Debbie Thompson, treasurer; and Marie Houser, secretary.
In 2002, Chris's younger brother Kevin, also a Tamaqua cross country runner, died as a result of a car accident. Kevin was a former Schuylkill League Champion on the Tuscarora Park course.
The race now became the Chris and Kevin Truskey Memorial Run. Originally the scholars were given only to a Tamaqua senior boy and girl. That year, an additional two scholarships were awarded to seniors outside of the Tamaqua School District. To date, over $55,000 has been awarded.
"What started out to be a small race has grown throughout the past 23 years to be a much bigger event than was imagined, with numbers as high as 420," said Dunkelberger. "The run is listed on the Runners World website and has drawn runners from other states as well as locally."
Dunkelberger added, "This race has been made possible through the many contributions of local businesses and shirt sponsors, of whom have been sponsors since the first race 23 years ago."
"We appreciated the dedication of all the volunteers who come together on race day to help," said Pat Truskey, who added that about 380 participants took part in last year's event.
Dunkelberger encourages participants to arrive early to register for the run/walk, which starts at 10 a.m. She added that volunteers are always welcome to show up early and help.
For more information about the event, call Wayne or Patricia Truskey at (570) 386-2922, via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds of the event will benefit next year's Truskey Scholarship Fund winners.