Dedication of 2010 Events
The Laurel Run Planning Committee has decided to dedicate this year’s event to two of event founder Wayne Hotelling’s former students who passed away during the past year.
The 14th annual Laurel Run is dedicated in memory of Olivia Coia, who passed away in March after a courageous battle against breast cancer. Olivia was a graduate of Silver Creek Central School and then became a special education teacher and coach (swimming, cross country and track) at her alma mater. Olivia also advised several student organizations and was respected and admired by both her fellow teachers and her students. However, the key word in identifying Olivia seems to be “passion.”
As a young girl, Olivia developed a love of running. Later she became an excellent swimmer. Her interest in sports and young people led her to the field of education, and she returned to Silver Creek with a passion and desire that inspired others.
Her mother, Laura, wrote the following: “My daughter was my hero. She was a joy to raise. She became a beautiful woman inside and out. The pride I feel in all her accomplishments as a teacher and an athlete and woman are immeasurable. I have lost my pride and joy – my daughter, my friend, my inspiration. She was the wind beneath my wings.”
Her father, David, relates this story: When Olivia was running the Marine Corps Marathon, she was thinking about stopping with about 5 miles still to go. However, two Marines came up to her and, one on each side of her, spoke to her, saying, “Come on, Semper Fi, you can finish this race.” It was then that she looked at these young men and noticed that both were running with prosthetic legs. This gave her the motivation to complete the race.
Her character was one of constant striving; to keep improving herself, be it teaching, coaching or running. She was never a quitter. She proved this many times over in her battle with cancer. When she was sick and couldn’t talk easily, she used sign language to communicate. Toward the end, she went to Boston for newly developed treatments. Olivia was willing to try anything new that might help her or others in the future.
The love she held for those around her – family, friends, and especially her students – has shown itself many times over since her passing. One of the last statements she made shows her love and concern for those young people she taught and coached: “What about my kids?” With these words in mind, Olivia showed the love she had for her community as well as her family and friends.
As a result of this passion, The Resource Center, TRC Foundation and the Laurel Run Planning Committee dedicate the 14th annual Laurel Run to the memory of Olivia Coia, who lived more in her 32 years than many people do in twice that time. Her enthusiasm was contagious and lives on in her family, students and friends.
Meanwhile, the planning committee also decided to dedicate this year’s motorcycle dice run to Kenneth Restivo, who died in June 2009.
Ken, who graduated from Silver Creek Central School in 1982, was a member and president of the Sons of the AMVETS and was co-road captain of the AMVET Riders. He was an avid golfer, loved riding his Harley and enjoyed snowmobiling.