Organizers of the First Annual Annalisa Laudadio Love & Encouragement 5K Run/Walk say that this inaugural event— which was held earlier in the month — managed to profit approximately $1,000, which went to the Annalisa Laudadio Memorial Scholarship.
Extension Center 4-H Agent Tammy Parker said there were enough participants in the event that she was “encouraged” by the results.
“I am very pleased with the results of the first Annalisa Laudadio Love & Encouragement 5K Run/Walk. We had approximately 70 participants for the race, which was encouraging for the first year. I feel confident that the number of participants will increase next year.
“This was a learning year for us as far as the planning process. I can not express how appreciative the planning committee is for the support from our city and county officials, amazing sponsors, residents who live on the race route, race participants and our 4-H families. Our goal is to host the race each year the second Saturday of September,” said Parker.
The event has been named in honor of Annalisa Laudadio, a 4-H member who died in 2016 of sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 15. She was the daughter of Paolo and Linda Laudadio of Tippah County. She was an active member of the Alcorn County 4-H for 10 of her 15 years.
Laudadio’s mother said they named the scholarship and the race the Love & Encouragement because Annalisa wanted more than anything for people to feel love and encouragement.
“She had a real love for people and she was an encourager ... She really had a heart for the overlooked and to make them feel like they were wanted and important,” said Laudadio, in a previous interview for the Daily Corinthian.
Lisha Hopper, one of the organizers of the 5K, said, “She was a great kid, and she had always wanted to do a run as part of the ambassador’s group. She was on the county’s junior council here and that was one of the goals they had discussed. She had always wanted to sponsor a 5K run and this helps continue her legacy.”
Laudadio’s legacy will not only annually fulfill her goal to sponsor a 5K, but benefits from the fundraiser will continue to provide scholarship money for 4-H members in honor of the organization in which she was so heavily involved.