DALLAS — Misericordia University hosted its fourth annual David A. Evans Jr. Memorial Color Run/Walk April 29, despite overcast skies, chilly temperatures and the threat of rain.
Dawn Evans, David’s mother and an assistant professor of occupational therapy at the university, said her son would have definitely approved.
“He always loved the rain and it rains every year,” she said. “We always joke and say he sends it.”
Shortly after David committed suicide in 2014 at the age of 16, his family decided it would sponsor the color run to fund a scholarship for a student at Holy Redeemer who plans to attend Misericordia.
In its first three years, the event has raised over $10,000 in scholarship money.
The university’s Student Government and Occupational Therapy Club now organizes the event which has become a staple of the university’s Spring Fest weekend.
Evans also wants the annual run to be an opportunity to continue the discussion about teen suicide.
In opening remarks, she told attendees suicide is the leading cause of death for young people between 12 and 25.
Still, Evans’ message was one of joy and family as she helped “throw color” with her daughter Megan, as runners made their way past the halfway point in the race.
Although about 120 runners and walkers seemed to thoroughly enjoy making their way through the campus, “throwing color” (colored cornstarch) was a coveted assignment.
Sophomore Peyton Porch enthusiastically waited for participants to go by as she “threw pink” at them.
She was delighted that she herself became more “pink” as the event went on.
Senior Trevor George said, “When you finish the race, you’re pretty much tie-dyed.”
George didn’t run this year, though.
“I’m throwing color,” he said. “Hopefully green.”
Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities, said the event has continued to grow, both in spirit and number.
“We have about 120 participants this year,” she said. “The students are excited about participating.”
Sophomore David Lutchko crossed the finish line first, covered with powdery color and smiling.
Lutchko, who also took first last year, said he wasn’t sure he was going to win.
“I’m glad I ran,” he said. “It was a great reason to get out of bed.”
Occupational therapy student Brenden Walker took second place.
“I used to run cross country in high school,” he said. “I haven’t been really running because I’m studying so hard. Everything hurts.”
The event concluded with a color throw which ensured that even those who might have escaped being covered in color during the event emerged covered in pastel dust.
To Dawn Evans and her family, it was a wonderful way to again remember David, his personality and his life.
Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.