Story & Photo Gallery: Miles For Matt 5K Run and Walk
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Friends, family, and community members gathered for the 6th Annual Miles For Matt 5K Run and Walk, a Rotary Club of Troutman fundraiser for a South Iredell High School scholarship in memory of Matthew Bailey, on a cool Saturday morning at ESC Park.
Matthew, the son of Rotary Club member Don Bailey and his wife Renee, died from a rare, aggressive brain cancer at age 14 in 2015.
The scholarship awards $2,500 to a deserving student-athlete at South Iredell with good grades and their coach’s recommendation. Race organizer and Rotary member Ashley Cannon announced that the generosity of past runners, sponsors, and the community allowed the club to give two students, Addison LaBelle and Jake Scherer, scholarships this year.
Cannon welcomed the 174 runners to the race, reminding them that “this would have been his senior year at South Iredell High School. I know a lot of his classmates and friends are here.”
Don Bailey also thanked the runners and present and past scholarship winners who supported the event. “This is one of our biggest crowds ever. We really appreciate it. We’ve given out over $15,000 in scholarships for deserving Iredell students.”
“Renee and I also want to thank all the sponsors. It’s the same sponsors and the same faces supporting us every year,” he said. “It touches our heart that you still remember Matthew.”
Following the post-race awards ceremony, balloons were released to remember Matt.
The Rotary Club also offered a soft opening tournament at its recently constructed disk golf course at ESC Park (between the Mashburn Fit Trail and dog park) to those interested after the race.
Mike Jones, Noah Oglietti, Ryan Oglietti, representatives of the SIHS Key Club, presented the proceeds from the its volleyball tournament to the Miles for Matt Scholarship Fund at a recent Rotary meeting.
In addition to the SIHS Key Club, the main sponsors for the race were Children’s Hope Alliance and the Baileys.
Gold sponsors include Ashley Cannon, Attorney at Law; Gottholm, Ralston, Benton, Byerly, and Moore, PLLC; and Purity Labs.
Silver sponsors were Royal Properties, Watermark Church, AXA Advisors, IMCI, Sovereign Investments, United Race Parts, Law Offices of Bill Baity, Windemere Life group, Lyons HR.
Other race supporters were Cedar Stump Pub, EFC Builders, Food Lion, Consolidated Planning, South Iredell Class of 2019, Pelegrinos, Pressley School Staff, Qualifying Profiles, McDonald’s - M. Neador Mgmt, Wendy’s, Signs Screen Printing, Cash Realty, Statesville Housing Authority, Lake Norman Floors, Charlie’s Pharmacy, Sun Fun Pools, Mom and Dad Bailey, Papa and Mama Bailey, Papa and Mama Wilson, and Uncle Dale and Aunt Connie.