There were two things everyone within the Dearborn Public Schools knew Robert Cipriano loved: helping students and running.
On Wednesday, the district unveiled a plan that honors both passions of their former director of business services, who was killed in an
According to DPS, Cipriano had been working with district athletic directors to create a running program for middle and elementary school students that would encourage competition, lifelong fitness, and fun.
The Robert Cipriano Memorial Cross-Country Meet, scheduled to take place Oct. 19, 2012, will accomplish just that. Set to take place at a Dearborn park during the school day, the meet–hopefully the first of what will become an annual event–will include nearly 500 students in grades four through eight.
“We wanted to create an event that will honor the work that Bob did in Dearborn, help his family, and benefit a large number of Dearborn students,” said Superintendent Brian Whiston.
Students will train for the event in physical education classes beginning at the start of the year and continue for six weeks. Middle school students, interested in enhancing their running skills, will have the option of joining a local running club that is offering a cross-country program.
Mark Shooshanian, who serves on the Dearborn City Council and worked with Cipriano as Athletic Director of , said the cross-country program is a "fantastic" way to honor Cipriano.
"I live in the neighborhood (near the DPS administrative offices where Cipriano worked), and I'd always see him running," Shooshanian said. "He loved to run, so this is perfect for him."
Shooshanian added that Cipriano worked diligently to ensure that sports facilities and opportunities were always a part of the district's financial plan. In his lasting legacy, Cipriano's efforts will result in the end of pay-to-play sports for Dearborn students.
"It was basically because of Bob," Shooshanian said. "He knew it was always about the kids."
In addition to the cross-country meet, the district has committed to the creation of the Robert Cipriano Memorial Scholarship. The $500 scholarship will be awarded to one high school senior from each high school who has participated in either track, cross country, or baseball. Other details for qualifying for the scholarship will be determined by a district committee.
The announcement of the scholarship and meet in Cipriano's honor came on the same day that his 19-year-old son, Tucker Cipriano, along with 20-year-old Mitchell Young.
in connection with the attack, which also left Bob Cipriano's son, Salvatore, and his wife, Rose, seriously injured. , although their conditions are reported to be improving.
Salvatore's twin brother, Tanner, and sister Isabella, 8, were not injured.
Ways to Support the Cipriano Family
- Rose-colored bracelets with the words "Just Keep Loving People" are being sold by Dearborn Public Schools. The color is in honor of Cipriano's wife, Rose; the words were spoken by Tanner Cipriano at his father's funeral. Bracelets are available in the Communications Office at the Administration Building, 18700 Audette, or online through the Dearborn Education Foundation at www.dearbornedfoundation.org.
- The Dearborn Education Foundation has also teamed up with Comerica Bank and DFCU Financial to collect donations for the Cipriano Memorial Fund. Direct donations can be made by visiting a DFCU branch, or a local Comerica branch. Checks should be made payable to the Dearborn Education Foundation with the memo “Cipriano Memorial Fund” on the check. All proceeds collected by the Foundation will directly benefit the cross-country event, scholarship and Cipriano family.
- will host the JKLP Walk-A-Thon on Thursday, June 14, from 12-2 p.m. A minimum donation of $10 is requested.
- A will be held June 8 at the to benefit the Cipriano Children's Fund. Participants can register at www.active.com