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Darien Steps Off For JR Forever Memorial Walk To Benefit Nonprofits

The Ninth Annual JR Forever Memorial Walk/5K Run is set to take place Oct. 2.
The Ninth Annual JR Forever Memorial Walk/5K Run is set to take place Oct. 2. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- The Ninth Annual JR Forever Memorial Walk/5K Run will be Sunday at Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien.

The Walk and 5K Run was created in memory of J.R. Schoen, who would have would have been a senior at Darien High School this year, but a brain tumor claimed his life in July 2008.

The 5K run and 1.5-mile walk will take the scenic route around Pear Tree Point.

The 5K/Walk will begin at 2 p.m., rain or shine, with registration starting at 1:15 pm at Pear Tree Point Beach. All are welcome to this event.

Registration forms are available at and should be returned by Saturday. Online registration is available at (search by zip code). Registration is $25 per participant or $100 per family.

Group discounts are available. Day-of-event registration is available; however, only the first 250 people will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Awards will be handed out to the top runners in each age category upon completion of the event. Food and drinks will be available.

This year, 100 percent of the registration fees will be divided to support three causes:

  • JR’s Ray of Hope, which supports Darien families with school-aged children experiencing serious illness, injury or the loss of a family member.
  • Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, which is developing promising cancer research to combat the type of brain tumor that J.R. suffered (pediatric glioblastoma multiforme).
  • The Good Friend Scholarship in Memory of J.R. and Jacob Velasco-Navarro, a 16-year-old DHS student who died from cancer in May, will be established.

Both Schoen and Velasco-Navarro would have been members of the graduating Class of 2017 at Darien High School.

The Good Friend Scholarship will be awarded to Darien High School seniors who demonstrate compassion and support of their friends and community, something both Schoen and Velasco-Navarro were so well known for among their friends.

Seniors can apply for the scholarship or a peer/teacher/coach/volunteer supervisor can recommend the senior for this scholarship.

JR Forever Memorial Walk has raised more than $140,000 in the past eight years and has supported many Darien organizations.

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