This month, hundreds of Dearborn students will lace up in honor of a slain Dearborn Public Schools employee who had a dream of sharing his love of running with local youth.
The Robert Cipriano Memorial Cross Country Meet is set to take place at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Ford Woods Park. The event invites teams of Dearborn students in grades four through eight to compete in in four different races arranged by age group and gender.
The meet honors former Business Services director Cipriano, who was killed in his Farmington Hills home in April. , as well as attacking other Cipriano family members.
Cipriano was known for his love of running by district employees and friends—a love he had hoped to spread to Dearborn students by facilitating the creation of a running program for middle school and, if possible, elementary students.
According to the district, "The annual cross country meet will do just that. Equally important, this event may encourage students to make running a part of their everyday healthy lifestyle now and beyond their school years."
“The goal was to create an event that will honor the work that Bob did here in Dearborn, help his family, and benefit a large number of Dearborn students,” commented Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston.
Dearborn Public Schools students have spent the first weeks of school getting in shape and qualifying for the big event. The district has teamed up with the Dearborn Education Foundation, the Dearborn Track Club and the City of Dearborn to help coordinate the meet.
All runners will receive a ribbon for taking part, medals will be awarded to the top ten runners in each age group, and a trophy will be presented to the top elementary and middle school team.
A statement from the district said administrators feel "that this event will carry on Bob’s work with athletics, his commitment to the children in Dearborn, and pay tribute to his love of running."
In addition, the district has created 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 on qualifying for the scholarship will be announced at the opening ceremony of the cross country event.