The 18th annual "Run For Joe" benefitting Canterbury School is taking place this weekend. Joe Leto graduated from Canterbury School in 1997. He died in 1999 during training exercises while a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.
His family started this 5k fundraiser as a way to celebrate Joe's life. The event is being held on Sunday at Canterbury School, rain or shine. Those participating in the run are asked to make a donation to the Joe Leto Scholarship Fund. Each running will receive a T-shirt.
More than $7,000 was raised last year. Joe's mother, Mimi Leto, says they hope to meet or exceed that goal this year.
Mimi Leto received a kidney transplant in May, and the donor was one of her son's friends. Mimi Leto was the recipient of the 1000th kidney transplant from a living donor performed at Yale-New Haven hospital. Jason Gaddy, a childhood friend of Joe's, was the donor. The 38-year old Gaddy grew up in New Milford and now lives in New Jersey, but saw Leto's post online about needing a transplant.
Registration is from 12:30pm to 1pm with the run starting at 1:30 on Sunday. A reception will be held near the football field following the run. If it's raining, the reception will be held in the Wresting Room of the Athletic Center.
Donations can be made online, and write Run for Joe in the comments box.
Leto died during a 7-mile night march in 80-degree heat during July 1999. He got sick, went off into the woods and was found unconscious hours later. A military trial and action against the unit's commanding officer followed his death. It also resulted in changes in conditioning hikes, to lessen the danger of heatstroke.