The Roseville Community Schools Scholarship Foundation will return with its annual Joe Manfreda Dream Dash fundraiser on Saturday, May 8, at Roseville High School.

The Roseville Community Schools Scholarship Foundation will return with its annual Joe Manfreda Dream Dash fundraiser on Saturday, May 8, at Roseville High School.

Photo provided by Teresa Tomala

Runners to take to the Roseville streets once more with Dream Dash fundraiser

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 24, 2021


ROSEVILLE — After missing a year due to COVID-19, the Joe Manfreda Dream Dash will return to Roseville.

The 5K walk/run is organized by and benefits the Roseville Community Schools Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit that provides $1,000 scholarships to seniors graduating from Roseville High School.

“The Dream Dash is a scholarship event that was created to generate additional funds for the Roseville Community Schools Scholarship Foundation, and with that money, we award $1,000 scholarships to applicants who are planning to pursue further education after high school,” explained Teresa Tomala, the event co-chair and the RCSSF president. “After the first few years, after Joe Manfreda passed away, it now also serves to honor him. (He) was a former Roseville High School student and athlete.”

The Dream Dash will take place on Saturday, May 8. Registration will start at 9 a.m., and the run itself will kick off at 10 a.m. Same-day registration is allowed. People can register ahead of time at grams/rcs-scholarship-foundation. All participants get a commemorative shirt for taking part.

“To participate, it’s $25 for adults, $15 for ages 18 and under ahead of time ... it’s $5 more for people who register the day of,” said Tomala. “The virtual is $25, all ages. If anyone wants to donate to the fund, we have a PayPal option on our website, www.rose They can also call (586) 445-5505. The police will be on hand to direct traffic and help keep everyone safe.”

The Dream Dash has become a tradition for many in the Roseville community in the seven years since it was started. Courtney Caldwell, a teacher at Huron Park Elementary, is a longtime Dream Dash runner and now brings the running club she started at the school to each event.

“It’s a really fun way to be involved in Roseville,” remarked Caldwell. “Even if you’re not a parent of a student, it’s good for the community. It helps a kid pay off a little debt or give them a boost in their education, so that really helps students who are from here.”

The walk/run is named in honor of former Roseville High School student Joe Manfreda, a student athlete who died in 2015.

“Joe was a Roseville High School student. He was a cross country and wrestling athlete,” said Tomala. “He ran in the first year of our event in 2014. In January of 2015, he passed away. So then we decided to rename the event in his memory. His family continues to support us by participating every year. They even still support us after moving to Ohio. They come up every year to run.”

Caldwell said the Dream Dash is a good way to honor Manfreda’s memory and a great method of supporting local students.

“I think it’s great it goes right back to the kids. Plus, with COVID, kids aren’t going outside and being active. This gets them outside, and it fits in well with the run club I do. We need to show them that physical activity is important,” she said.

COVID-19 preempted the Dream Dash in 2020, something that made Tomala and the other organizers anxious to make sure that the 2021 walk/run would be a success.

“We were disappointed we had to cancel it last year, so we knew we had to continue it this year so we didn’t lose the tradition,” she said. “We are trying to make up the funds we didn’t get last year because we want to make sure we can still give out these scholarships.”

Fortunately, some donors came through so scholarships were still given out in 2021. Tomala hopes they will be able to surpass their previous success this year.

“We still had our golf event and our dance, and also received $10,000 from AT&T. That was a one-time donation, though,” she said. “We were able to give out 53 thanks to people going the extra mile like that. How much we will give out this year will depend on how much we raise.”

This year’s Dream Dash will be much like previous years, with the addition of a virtual run option where people can participate by running on their own instead of running on the route on the day of the event.

“We are back to starting and stopping at the high school track. We want to showcase the new (track) facility, which we were able to build thanks to the community supporting the bond measure from 2018,” said Tomala. “This year, we are offering a 1-mile walk or run option, as well as a 5K walk or run. We also have added a virtual option so participants can sign up, and we will send them a shirt and bib so they can run on their own on their own course while still supporting the event. … The route goes down Normal Street and through the neighborhoods adjacent to the high school.”

Tomala is encouraging everyone in the community to help local students reach the next level in education by taking part.

“This is our seventh year. We feel proud to continue to host this community event,” she said. “The proceeds go right back to our own students to help them continue their education. Participation, donations and sponsorships all help us achieve this goal. That’s why we started this whole event.”