Jill Waite contacted the Meso Foundation earlier this year in hopes of planning her first fundraiser to honor her late father, Bruce Waite, who died from mesothelioma.
- Bruce Waite on one of his daily runs.
Nearly ten years after his death, Jill has organized the first Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K in Ontario, OH on Sunday, September 23, just 3 days before Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Bruce was a teacher with over thirty years of service to his students, and Jill has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that has come from her father’s former students, friends and family from all over the country. She has learned even more about her dad and his legacy from the stories she has heard from the people coming out of the woodwork.
“One student told me Dad made the difference between prison and college for him. One student wrote me that Dad sent him a congratulatory note as he graduated from college. Every day, I end up in tears, not even from sadness, but from pride. And to this man who had so much humility that he truly felt he had no impact, I look up to the sky and tell him this is the only time he was wrong,” says Jill.
Jill chose to organize a 5K in honor of her father because running was also a huge part of his life, never missing one of his daily runs for 33 years. She knew that 2012 was the year, stating “as I turned 50, I realized that I did not want to celebrate without Dad – so I decided it is the perfect year to have the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K Run/Walk.”
This is not the Waite family’s first fundraising effort in honor of Bruce, in fact they have established a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors interested in pursuing a career in education. One of the scholarship recipients will begin teaching this fall, and will be teaching some of the same literature Bruce taught.
Jill is committed to continuing to raise funds to support mesothelioma research, saying “If part of Dad’s legacy is to help raise monies for meso research so other families can be spared what we endured, then, as his daughter, I have no choice but to continue the fight. I count it an honor.”
To find out more about the Bruce A. Waite Miles for Meso 5K, visit their website: www.brucewaite5k.com
Interested in hosting a fundraiser for the Meso Foundation? For more information on giving of your time and talents in your area and planning your own fundraiser, contact Sean Haynie at (703) 879-3823 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more information on being mentored by our Fundraising Co-Chairs Shelly Kozicki and Erica Ruble by visiting our website at http://www.curemeso.org.