The fundraiser, Ronnie’s Way 5k, is in honor of Ron Graham who has been diagnosed with stage-four gastroesophageal cancer and has recently started treatment.
Musician and music teacher Mark Alpaugh describes Ron as a “galvanizing force,” especially when it came to the creation of the Infinity Arts Program at Washington Middle School, “Ron is one these people that they say, ‘Ron’s never met a stranger.’ You know, he seems to know everybody and is connected. So he would set up these meetings with my department head and with my principal at school to see if this was all legit, that we could do this in fact under the umbrella of the Jamestown Public Schools, and would that be okay to do after hours.”
Alpaugh said Ron Graham then was able to find a space in downtown Jamestown on East Third Street for the Infinity program, and it grew from there.
He said one of Ron’s biggest legacies with the Infinity program is that he was able to cross borders, “He was able to find kids from different schools, from different age groups, and from different ethnicities, genders, the whole thing, and bring them all together under one umbrella, which is music.”
Musician and teacher Steve Davis credited Ron with facilitating his and other’s growth as musicians, “Introducing me to so many of the upper echelon musicians in the area and bringing other professional musicians, international touring musicians.. he brought them to Jamestown to work with us and took our level of musicianship, took it through the roof. And just the experiences and opportunities we would have never have experienced without him.”
The event Saturday at Jackson-Taylor Park will start at 10:00 a.m. with a 5K run, followed by a Hot Shots Basketball tournament as well as a community walk at 11:00 a.m.
Live music is part of the day, too, with Steve Davis and Friends starting at 10:30 a.m., “Jeremy Bunce will be playing guitar. Daniel Witherspoon will be playing some drums. Rahsaan Graham, Ron’s son, will be playing some percussion. Marla Harris will be coming down to sing some songs.”
The link to register for the “Ronnie’s Way” event is available here: https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Jamestown/Ronnie