Olmsted Spirit 5K – How It All Began

Since 1998, SpectraLight Photography has been a major fundraiser for the Olmsted Spirit 5K – providing college scholarships for hundreds of OFHS students.  The event has become a much anticipated “Rite of Spring” as hundreds of Olmsted residents come out to support the race.  From 1998 – 2015, over $222,500.00 in college scholarships have been awarded.

Viola Wyderka and Kitty Fenderbosch Revive an Old Tradition

In 1998 Olmsted residents and school district employees, Viola Wyderka and Kitty Fenderbosch, revived an old tradition in the Olmsted community – the Olmsted Spirit 5K.  From 2000 – 2013, the event was renamed the Dara Hosta Olmsted Spirit 5K in memory of the OFHS Freshman who passed away a few days after winning the 400 meter run in gym class.

The Hosta Family Returns the Race to the Community

For 14 years, Bruce and Fonda Hosta tirelessly planned and executed the race in their daughter – Dara’s memory.  They took an event that had a handful of participants and grew it to over 700 runners/walkers with hundreds more cheering them on from the sidelines.  They raised over $200,000.00 in scholarships for OFHS graduating seniors during that time.

Over the years, it has been a privilege and an honor to assist Bruce and Fonda behind the scenes with the design of brochures, flyers and posters, press releases, website creation and maintenance, sponsor solicitation and business adviser.  I will miss all the emails, phone calls and meetings that we shared to make the race a success.

The Passing of the Torch

During the 2013 race, I had the opportunity to chat with a regular participant – Olmsted Falls native Jeff Swislocki.  After completing the 5K, he mentioned how he would love to have a race of his own to benefit people in need.

When Fonda told me that she and Bruce were giving the race back to the community, the big question was, “Who would carry on the event and appreciated the importance of family and community by helping those in need?”  Jeff Swislocki was the answer!

Jeff graduated from Olmsted Falls High School in 2002.  He joined the United States Air Force in 2009 and now works for the Air National Guard.  He is an avid runner – participating in 9 full marathons, 18 half marathons and over 40 – 5K and 10K races.

Event Name Change

At the request of Fonda and Bruce, the event name has been shortened to its original title: Olmsted Spirit 5K.

New Race Website

For the latest info about the Olmsted Spirit 5K Race/Walk, visit www.OlmstedSpirit.com.

 

Mark Madere

Founding Sponsor – Olmsted Spirit 5K

President – SpectraLight Photography | Social Media Solutions