SMITHVILLE — Named after Julia Bargman, former assistant cross country coach for Smithville High School, middle school track coach and a counselor to students, this annual 5K and 1-mile walk raises funds for those suffering breast cancer in addition to providing scholarships for Smithville seniors and benefiting the Cross Country Booster Club.
“For many years, she cheered her runners on at practice as they ran up Commercial,” the race website states. “As a runner herself, in high school, Julia also had many track practices running up Commercial.”
Bargman was lost to the community after a battle with breast cancer. Scheduled every year in October, known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, funds raised during the race will be split and donated to four causes. The first recipient is the University of Nebraska Foundation — Breast Cancer Research and Developmental Fund; to date the Julia Bargeman Foundation has donated $13,000 to this research. St. Luke’s Foundation has received $75,000 to help patients locally. The Coach “B” Scholarship, named after Bargman, is a one year non-renewable $1,000 scholarship. To date, $18,000 have gone to Smithville seniors aiming to further their education. Lastly, the Smithville Cross Country Booster Club sees support through the endeavor, receiving $16,000 to date.
Online registration for the run closes at midnight Wednesday, Oct. 16. Those who wish to register after that date can do so during packet pick-up from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Family Worship Center, 98 Stonebridge Lane.
The race is the following morning, beginning with registration at 6:30 a.m. and the race taking off at 8 a.m. from the Smithville High School Football Field Complex, 645 S. Commercial Ave.
Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers of the 5K. Age group awards will be given to the top three male and top three female winners in each 10-year range. There also is an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the Smithville American Legion Post No. 58, 2607 NE Highway 92. Adults eat for $9 and children under age 10 for $5. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Julia Bargman Hope Foundation.
“It is so gratifying to see our community come together each and every year in support of such a great cause,” Smithville School District Superintendent Todd Schuetz said. “Julia touched our community in so many special ways and it is touching to see her spirit live on through this run.”