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O'Mara race nets $17K for scholarship

August 11, 2010 - Dennis O'Mara said it's nice to know that his daughter Kayla is still inspiring people to run. Dennis, a volunteer for the fifth Annual Kayla O'Mara Memorial Road Race, which took place on Aug. 7, said he sees her inspiration in the participants of the race.

"A Goodrich couple told me this year that entering their first Kayla run changed their lives," he said. "They became active runners, changed their diets, and feel much better."

The Kayla Race included three races, the 10K run, the 5K run/walk, and the fun run/walk, all taking off from Goodrich High School.

The Kayla O'Mara Memorial Road Race is dedicated to Kayla O'Mara, a Goodrich High School student who was killed in a car accident in 2006. The race is in honor of her athletic achievements in track and cross country, as well as the personal impact she had on the community.

More than honoring Kayla, though, the race is the sole provider for the Kayla O'Mara Memorial Scholarship.

"This year we presented $17,000 in scholarship money, bringing the total to $37,000," Dennis said.

Dennis said his daughter, Erin, should take the credit for the race's success. As race director, Dennis said Erin puts in more hours than he can count in order to pull this race off.

"I'm not just saying that as her dad. I would recommend her to anyone who wants to put on a race," he said.

After the fifth Kayla race, Dennis said one of the most rewarding things is the amount of people that tell him it was their first 5K race.

"I like to think that Kayla's memory continues to motivate and inspire others," he said, "just as she did as a student and athlete at Goodrich High School."

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