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Roseville gears up for Joe Manfreda Dream Dash

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 19, 2016

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ROSEVILLE — Roseville Community Schools currently is taking registrations for its third annual Dream Dash, with this being the second year that the event has been dedicated to the late Joe Manfreda.

According to Kaiser Elementary Principal Teresa Tomala, the event is scheduled for May 7 and will see participants starting at Roseville High School — located at 17855 Common Road — before following a 5K route along Common and residential streets. New this year is a section for participants to take photos.

“We’re going to have a photo backdrop and some props, so they can take photos,” Tomala said.

Registered participants will be entered into a raffle and receive a T-shirt and a medal for finishing, Tomala said, though she added that T-shirts could only be guaranteed for participants who register by April 22. Refreshments will be available after the Dream Dash has concluded.

Registration before May 5 costs $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 18 and younger. After that time, registration will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

All proceeds from the event will go toward the Roseville Community Schools Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to high school seniors. Tomala said 70 students applied this year, and 37 were selected to receive $1,000 scholarships.

She added that organizers are hoping for at least 150 participants this year, though Tomala said they also will accept donations from people who are not participating. The district also is still looking for sponsorships.

The Eastside Racing Company is returning this year to time the event, and Tomala said the Dream Dash is part of the Run Macomb group that is trying to make Macomb County a destination for runners. Participants in the Dream Dash — and at least two other Macomb-based events — should be able to run in an event in November for free, she said. More information is available at www.letsmovefestivalofraces.com/run_macomb.html.

The Dream Dash’s namesake, Joe Manfreda, was a Roseville High School student who died suddenly in January 2015 of a previously unknown heart problem. Manfreda was part of the high school’s cross-country team prior to his death.

Manfreda’s mother, Shannon Hoffman, spoke before last year’s Dream Dash about her son, and Tomala said that Hoffman has mentioned attending this year’s event.

Hoffman told C&G Newspapers last May that her son would have been very proud, and that this event is the best way he could have been honored.

“He was never an athlete; he never could play any kind of sport,” Hoffman said. “When he first stated running at the beginning of ninth grade after the cross-country coach recruited him, we laughed that he couldn’t run around the block, and the first race he ran, he came (in) pretty much dead last. But he just kept at it and ended up being one of the stars of the cross-country team, and turned into a fabulous runner.”

To register for the Dream Dash in advance, visit www.eastsideracingcompany.com and click on “Upcoming Races” before May 5. In-person registration will be available at 9 a.m. May 7, an hour before the race begins, and anyone interested in participating or sponsoring the event can call (586) 445-5505 or email rcssf@roseville.k12.mi.us.

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