Crusader Classic gets 200 people running for scholarship fund

The 11th annual Crusader Classic 5k run/1 Mile Walk held last weekend benefitted the Lt.Robert Neary Scholarship Fund, which will provide partial scholarships to deserving students who may otherwise be unable to attend Father Judge.

Neary, a Judge graduate, was one of the firefighters killed in the line of duty in 2012 while battling a blaze in a warehouse that collapsed. This year’s goal was to raise $10,000, which is twice the amount that Janice McCrossen remembers the organization aiming to raise when it first started.

“This has been going on for the past 11 years and it started out with maybe a $5,000 profit, which has way, way exceeded more than we had ever set out to be,” McCrossen said. “We had about $8,000 about five, maybe six, years ago, which we’ve kept steady and last year we came almost to $10,000.

“I am confident we came close if we somehow did not meet our goal,” co-organizer Dennis McCrossen said. Final numbers are expected later this week or early next.

Nearly 200 runners registered for the morning run, with Brendan Lyman finishing first in just a little more than 15 minutes. Though not a Judge graduate himself, Lyman also shares ties to the school.

“I know the coach at Father Judge and he was saying it should be lower key, so I knew it was going to be not the biggest pack up front, but it was still pretty competitive,” Lyman said.

Whether a runner finished first or last, the enthusiasm was contagious as the mission of the day remained the same.

A beaming McCrossen explained, “That’s what this really started out for, the awareness. People in the community only get to see each other a little throughout the week, and this is a fun event for a Sunday morning.”


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