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Students Run Wet Nose 5k in Memory of Abby Bendis

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Students Run Wet Nose 5k in Memory of Abby Bendis

Photo by Leah Backo / Rescue Village

Photo by Leah Backo / Rescue Village

Photo by Leah Backo / Rescue Village

Photo by Leah Backo / Rescue Village

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Many Beachwood students participated in the 3rd annual Wet Nose 5K on Aug. 5.

The race was a fundraiser for Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village, an organization that finds homes for and provides support to many homeless animals.

This year’s race was held in memory of Abigail Bendis, a BHS student who tragically passed away last year.

Bendis, who was a frequent volunteer at Rescue Village, worked at the summer camp and in the cat department.

Nicole Latosky, Rescue Village’s Education Coordinator, said that Bendis was a positive role-model and mentor to children of all ages.

“[Abby’s] smiling face and caring demeanor embodied the kindness and spirit that symbolizes our vision at Rescue Village,” Latosky said. “As a true advocate for all species, Abby’s legacy will carry on through her family and friends as they inspire others to help build a more humane community.”

Devoted friends and teammates woke up early Sunday morning and boarded a bus to Chesterland.

“The bus left the high school at 7:00 a.m., which is early, but [demonstrated that] people really wanted to be there,” junior Joe Spero said.

Abby’s legacy will carry on through her family and friends as they inspire others to help build a more humane community.”

— Rescue Village's Education Coordinator Nicole Latosky

The heat and humidity made it a long 3.1 miles.

“It was a day when I was not thinking of myself, I was thinking of Abby,” said cross country coach Jamie Lader.

Runners were able to purchase lime green ribbons for one dollar at the start of the raceAbby’s favorite color. At each mile marker, volunteers blew bubbles at anyone wearing a green ribbon.

All proceeds from the ribbons were donated to Rescue Village in Abby’s name.

Wearing ribbons was not the only thing people did for Abby though.

“The whole time it was all for her,” Spero said. “There is no other person that I’d rather run forshe’s just an amazing person who deserves to be remembered forever.”

At the end of the race, there was an award given called The Abby Bendis Award.The recipient was a man who had helped someone who felt sick during the race.

“They gave the award to him because [he represents] the values of Abby Bendis and her memory,” Spero said.

Around 200 Beachwood students attended the race.

According to Rescue Village’s Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Leah Backo, the race raised over $11,000 for the organization.”

According to Rescue Village’s Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Leah Backo, the race raised over $11,000 for the organization.

“It was really nice because out of the top ten finishers, a great percentage of them were Beachwood alumni or [part of] the cross country team,” Spero explained.

To many, the atmosphere of the race was something deeper than competition.

“The race felt very supportive and was a positive moment,” Lader said. “[It was] good to see everyone having a good time.”

“It was pure happiness and a spectacular moment. I think ‘together’ is the perfect word to describe it,” Spero added.

While the race came to an end, Abby’s memory didn’t.

Lader said the cross country team will wear green bands around their wrists as long as he is coach.

“We will continue to do this race,” he said. “We always say before we run that we run for ourselves, we run for Beachwood and we run for Abby.”

 

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Students Run Wet Nose 5k in Memory of Abby Bendis