Allyson Holmes - North Adams, MA
The Annual Jocelyn E. LeClair Memorial Scholarship Race began in 2002 after Jocelyn, my
friend and teammate passed away from spinal meningitis in August 2001. With her passing, I
wanted to organize an event to help raise money for a scholarship fund created in her name.
Since track was her favorite sport to participate in (we were also teammates on the soccer team
and she participated in basketball as well), I thought that a road race would be the best way
to remember her.
When I started to organize the first race I was only 16 (now 22) so I relied on a lot of
help from my dad and other runners who had experience organizing a road race. Now in its sixth
year, the foundations have essentially been laid and the race organization flows a lot smoother
than in past years. Though I have typically been the primary organizer, since I started
college, my dad has taken on a much larger role as an organizer and it is definitely a team
effort with my family and friends helping out whenever it is needed.
The race is held at one of the local state parks (Clarksburg State Forest - Clarksburg, MA)
and although the course is not on a trail, the road loops through the on-site campground. The
scenery along the course is beautiful as trees line the course and it begins and ends at a
serene lake located in the park. This event is somewhat atypical in that in addition to a 5k
road race, there is also a one mile walk. The thought behind this was to appeal to a larger
crowd in the hopes of raising more money for the scholarship fund.
Over the past five years, the event has raised over $36,000 for the cause. A large portion
of the race's profits comes from sponsors that pledge enough money to appear on the back of the
race shirt. The proceeds of the fund are dispersed around the community to various
organizations that Jocelyn was associated with in her short life. Some of them include the
YMCA, Conte Middle School, SADD, 4th grade campout at Greylock Elementary School, a
motivational speaker at a past race, Drury After-Prom party, scholarships to graduating seniors
from Drury and McCann, the R.O.P.E.S. program, the Gateway Fund, and the Meningitis Foundation
Inquiries and donations can be sent to the following location:
Jocelyn E. LeClair Memorial Race
c/o Allyson Holmes
94 North Street
North Adams, MA 01247