Andrej 5K Raises more than $17,000 in Honor of Late Eastern Grad

Andrej 5K committee members Jackie Fedor '12, Heather Lepper '12, Hannah Lawrie and Emma Bounty.
Andrej's father, Branko Cavarkapa, rejoices at the event.

 

The second annual Andrej 5K Fun Run/Walk, held Sept. 28, has raised more than $17,000 as of Oct. 10 in honor of late Eastern graduate Andrej Cavarkapa ’09. More than 150 people showed up for the brisk Saturday morning event at Mansfield Hollow State Park in support of Cavarkapa’s friends and family and to keep his love of running alive. Donations continue to trickle in; all proceeds will go to the Andrej Cavarkapa Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

Heather Lepper ’12, a close friend and event organizer, commented: “The event was simply incredible. It was an emotional day but the love and support from all those who attended really made it special.” In addition to the 150 in attendance, runners from six other states and two other countries ran remotely.

“It’s nice to have this as an annual memorial run for Andrej and it gives everyone an opportunity to come together and celebrate his life once a year,” said Lepper. “It means so much to us to see all of those whom he had an effect on come and run in his honor.”

The memorial scholarship represents one of Cavarkapa’s many passions as a teacher: that of making education accessible to all students. He was a science teacher at RHAM High School, where he was known as “Mr. C” and passionate about physics and chemistry.

His father, Branko, a business professor at Eastern, commented: “It is about education and it is about making education more affordable for others. It is difficult to talk about him now in the past tense. He was caring, he loved other people, he was a loyal friend, all who knew him would agree.”

Awards were given at the event to the first and second male and female runners, first and second walkers and top dog. Andrej’s friends and family plan to continue the annual event to maintain Cavarkapa’s legacy. “We are looking forward to planning the third annual race for 2020 and continuing to share his story and the impact he had on everyone he met,” said Lepper.

To donate to the Andrej Cavarkapa Memorial Endowed Scholarship, visit https://ecsufoundation.com/andrej5k/.

Written by Vania Galicia