April 25, 2014

Run for John supports students

The seventh annual Run for John is scheduled for Saturday in Dalton, with a 1-mile fun run at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K (3.1-mile) race at 9 a.m.

Both events will start and finish at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 968 Haig Mill Lake Road. On-site registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the cost to participate is $20.

The Run for John supports a scholarship program in memory of John Bruner, a phenomenal student-athlete who died while doing what he loved the most — running.

Bruner was a 2006 graduate of Dalton High School, where he was an honors student and standout distance runner for the Catamounts in cross country and track and field. He was The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Boys Cross Country Co-Runner of the Year as a senior, and he went on to compete for Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville.

Bruner, who unknowingly had a rare artery defect, died of cardiac arrest near the finish line of Chattanooga’s Missionary Ridge road race on Aug. 4, 2007.

The scholarship program has awarded more than $60,000 over the years to race volunteers or runners who are college-bound or in college. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must submit an essay with a spiritual theme related to a religious paper that Bruner wrote while in college.

The scholarship has helped numerous students alleviate financial stress so that they may achieve their academic dreams, and several students from the community have received this scholarship and flourished in school:

• Rosalyn Zock will graduate next month from Berry College with a degree in anthropology.

• Wil Cushman is completing his sophomore year at Birmingham Southern College.

• Trey Hurt, an avid runner, is in his freshman year at the University of Mississippi, where he’s studying finance.

• Paxton Plunkett, another avid runner, is completing her second year at Georgia Tech, while Allyson Rogers is completing her junior year there.

• Sean O’Boyle, a runner and volunteer, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and is now in medical school.

• Ryan O’Boyle, a runner, graduated from Dayton University and now works for Beaulieu Industries.

• Emily O’Brien, a runner and volunteer, graduates next month from the University of Georgia with a degree in dietetics.

Through the scholarship program, many of these students are able to alleviate some financial burden and are excelling in college — benefiting themselves and our community.

To learn more about the race, visit

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