Run in Anderson's memory brings smiles, not tears
Anderson had an influence on the weather on Saturday from her lofty seat in heaven.
On a cool and partly cloudy morning, perfect for running or walking, those up for the challenge took to the Sullivan High School cross country course — otherwise known as the Ed Chickadaunce Trail — for the inaugural Susan Anderson Memorial Scholarship 3.1 mile run/walk.
On the surface, it was no different than the other similar events that take place across our great country throughout the year.
The other one that comes to mind is the Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions Walk/Run when benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.
Stefanie, who lost her battle with cancer at age 42 in 2009, was the wife of former Ohio State University and Detroit Lions standout linebacker Chris Spielman.
Although on a much larger scale, they have raised over $20 million for breast cancer research.
The event locally raised approximately $5,700 as local businesses and runners gave from their heart. The money will go to fund scholarships.
It has not yet been determined how many scholarships will be offered every year. All I know is that any student who receives a scholarship from Susan’s Fund, I like that, probably won’t know the impact that Anderson made on this community and what an honor it will be to receive it.
Susan, a devout runner until cancer took her physical abilities in her last days before her death on April 5, 2018, would have liked the fact that Saturday’s gathering featured no tears, something I am fighting as I write this, and smiling faces.
Suzanne Gilham, one of the organizers, told me she wasn’t sure if she was going to avoid getting emotional, but she did.
It was as if Susan were still with us and we couldn’t help but smile and be happy because that’s the way she was. She battled the one of the ugliest of diseases for years with more courage, honor and class than most of us could even imagine.
Somebody on Saturday told me they don’t ever remember Susan uttering a bad word about anyone.
But fellow 1970 Sullivan High School graduate Mike Olson told the story of him hitting ground balls to her daughter Stacy.
Olson said that Anderson got mad because she thought he was hitting them too hard.
“I didn’t even know she was a girl,” said Olson, who presented medals to the winners.
But however long each of us had known Susan, we were the winners because of it. It was surreal that some of her sweet spirit rubbed off on everybody there.
One more note, Gilham wanted to thank anyone who helped in any way, but might have been left off the list in Monday’s Times.