The life of Julia Rusinek was remembered during Yale University’s annual fundraising program, Julia’s Run. The four-mile run through downtown New Haven raises money for LEAP (Leadership, Education, Athletic in Participation), a mentorship program for inner city children.
Rusinek was a Yale student whose compassion spread to everyone she encountered. She was involved in the lives of many children, bringing joy to them as well as to herself. The summer before her senior year at Yale, Rusinek died suddenly of an unexpected heart condition. The Julia Memorial Fund was formed to remember the collective passion she had for helping less fortunate children.
Along with her work with children, Rusinek cherished her relationships with people and sought to create these connections with every individual in her path. “She loved people. Every person she met was a very natural extension of herself,” Julia’s mother, Roza, said after the race.
Roza feels Rusinek’s universal strive to make connections is honored with the run, now in its sixth year. The race is, as Roza stated, “a reunion of different people from different periods of her life.” She also has gained more human to human connections through this event and believes Rusinek “is still at work bringing people new friends and new connections.”
The Quinnipiac Athletic Training Club was heavily involved in Julia’s Run this year. In addition to donating roughly $750 dollars, the students also set up water stands throughout the length of the race and managed the registration tables.
Nina Walker, the faculty representative for the AT club and one of Julia’s good friends, is one of the major figures responsible for involving the Quinnipiac community with the race.
Currently, the AT club has been raising money for other non-profit organizations such as The Team of Angels, a group dedicated to preventing the catastrophic injuries of children, and Darla’s school, an organization formed to build a school in Uganda.
The race itself included a four mile run for adults and the Fun Run, a .7 mile run for children. There were 100 children participating in the Fun Run and 341 participants in the four mile course. Jarek Lazarowicz won the men’s race with a record-breaking time of 20 minutes and 56 seconds while Shannon Duff claimed the top spot for women with another new record, 25 minutes and 7 seconds.
Julia’s Run embodies an integration of the body and mind that Julia Rusinek lived to share with the world. “Running is the niche, it is the glory of transforming thought into action,” Rusinek said in 1996. Every year that the Run continues will further this action and bring Julia’s message to more people.