Sacred Heart to celebrate life of former coach

By: Elizabeth Scussel | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 19, 2015


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — On Sept. 13, the Academy of the Sacred Heart is inviting the community to participate in its sixth annual Heart of Oak — Vicki Oakley Memorial run/walk.

Participants can choose from a 5K run, 5K family walk and children’s 1-mile fun run.

“The Heart of Oak run is a unique opportunity for the greater community to join our students and parents for fellowship and fun while supporting an important cause and the mission of Sacred Heart education,” said Jill Rafferty, director of advancement at ASH.

The run is in honor of ASH’s former varsity lacrosse coach, Vicki Oakley, who lost her 18-month battle to ovarian cancer in February 2010.

“She was a coach, a teacher, a mentor, and the girls really looked up to her on and off the field,” said Kate Lynch, an ASH parent and co-chair of the event. “Everyone continues to keep her memory alive. She was a great person and a fantastic coach.”

Proceeds from the event will support the Karmanos Cancer Institute and the academy’s athletic programs in memory of coach and educator Vicki Oakley.

In her 15 years at ASH, Oakley served as a faculty member, chair of the physical education department and varsity lacrosse coach, leading the team to seven state championships — a title the team strives for each year in her honor.

“We will always remember her because she still lives here at Sacred Heart — her spirit is here. We’ll always honor her memory,” Lynch said.

This year’s 5K course was certified by USA Track and Field, and the event is endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports through the Pure Michigan FITness Series program. Automated chip timing and race management will be provided by Hanson’s Race Management.

The Heart of Oak events begin at ASH’s field house, located at 1250 Kensington Road in Bloomfield Hills. Registration begins at 8 a.m. To register, visit The entry fee is $30 for people 13 years and older, and $10 for those 12 and younger.