CHAVIES — Heavy fog and the threat of rain couldn’t prevent a large crowd of runners and supporters from participating in the Cameron Hoskins 5k/10k Run/Walk in Chavies Saturday morning.
Often called “the Cam-Run,” 2014 marked the fifth running of the race, which benefits the Cameron Hoskins Foundation. The Foundation was created in memory of 12-year-old Cameron Hoskins, who died tragically in 2009 after being struck by a car. Proceeds from the event fund scholarships for graduating seniors in all Perry County high schools and aid student-athletes based on need.
“Our hope is to keep Cameron’s memory alive and help our area kids,” said Karen Smith-Cooper, Cameron’s aunt.
The race began at 8 a.m. in front of the Chavies First Church of God, drawing nearly 260 registered participants. Runners competed in a 5k and 10k race, and the children in the crowd competed for the title of “The Fastest Kid in Town.” Event organizers said the oldest participant was Robert Miller at 78, and the youngest were a trio of 7-year-olds, Lynsey France, Tyson Neace, and Ian Montgomery.
Along with the runners, a throng of community members were on-hand to help with the day’s activities. Friends and neighbors filled the parking lot in front of the church, cheering on the runners, snapping photos, and working to assist the Smith and Hoskins families with their fundraising efforts.
“We are blessed to live in an area where communities come together to support each other,” said Cameron’s mother, Kim Hoskins.
“The support that we have received has been amazing,” she continued. “I think one of the greatest fears for a bereaved parent is that their child will be forgotten. The community always comes through strongly to remind us that Cameron is still remembered.”
Hoskins said her son was a compassionate person who went above and beyond to show love to others. The support of the community is a testament to who he was, she said.
According to Hoskins and Smith-Cooper, The Cameron Hoskins Foundation has awarded over $35,000 in scholarships to local students. Smith-Cooper said the Foundation gives at least two $1,000 scholarships to students at all three high schools in the county. The funds are also used to help kids with expenses to play sports, Smith-Cooper said, and the Foundation made a donation this summer to the Hazard Perry County Little League.
“We have reached the point where the kids that were Cameron’s teammates and those he competed against most are applying,” shared Smith-Cooper. “It’s so hard to read their essays and not cry.”
Hoskins said that she and her family hoped to continue funding the scholarships for years and that she hopes each recipient carries Cameron’s memory with them.
“While it breaks my heart that Cameron will never experience all the wonders of growing up, it does help to feel that he can be a part of making others’ dreams a reality,” said Hoskins.
The family said that approximately $8,000 was raised at this year’s Cam-Run event.
The top finishers in the race were Phillip Mosley in the men’s 10k (39:43), Emily Grindstead in the women’s 10k (60:36), Brandon Gayheart in the men’s 5k (18:12), and Courtney Hoskins in the women’s 5k (25:01).
Sponsors of the race were People’s Bank and Trust, Keith Miller for Magistrate, Drew’s Mini-Mart, Fugate Family Chiropractic, Mountain Properties, Inc., First Trust Bank, Maggard Electric, Inc., Coal Mining Our Future, Breeding Heavy Haulers, Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Jackson Wholesale, Quantum Health Care, Graphics Impressions, Sports City, King Pharmacy, Joan and Haven King, Pine Branch Mining, Chub and Kitty Smith, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Whitaker Bank, Austin Powder, Kentucky Mountain Partnership, B & W Resources, Whayne Supply Company, McDonald’s, Childers Oil, and Jabo’s Coal River Grille.
Mindy Miller can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.