5K event in North Park to honor friend killed in vehicle crash
By Dona S. Dreeland
Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Good friends always remember the good times.
Erik Hood and a whole host of Jeff Fromlak's friends and acquaintances are honoring him with a 5K run/walk in North Park on June 30. Fromlak, 26, of West View, was killed in a single-vehicle crash in McCandless on Jan. 27.
Hood, 26, of Pittsburgh's Brighton Heights neighborhood, got the call at 1 a.m.
“I was with him all day that day,” Hood said.
Weeks later, a small group gathered to plan a commemorative event and decided that a run/walk on a day near Fromlak's birthday, June 24, would be the best way to celebrate his life. The family also chose Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania & Southern West Virginia for the fundraising focus.
“Janet, Christine and I are appreciative for all of the hard work and efforts that all have made for Jeff's memorial 5K,” said Bruce Fromlak, Jeff Fromlak's father, who serves as West View's police chief and borough manager. “Jeff enjoyed traveling and making children laugh, so we thought Make-A-Wish would be a great organization to support in his memory.”
Hood holds that organization close to his heart; he was a Make-A-Wish recipient after being diagnosed with cancer as an infant. At age 10, Hood made a wish for an unforgettable trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, which he, his parents and two siblings enjoyed. Now, after more than a decade, Hood is fully cured, and his 820-page Army National Guard health document proved it.
“Jeff would never do this,” run a race, that is, his friends said. Fromlak had participated in crew and football at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh's Troy Hill neighborhood, where the young men met as members of the Class of 2005. After graduation, Hood joined the Army National Guard and still serves today in Mt. Pleasant; Fromlak was a proud member of the 171st Air Refueling Wing Air National Guard.
He was the reason why Erin Shaw, also of Brighton Heights, enlisted in the Air Force almost six years ago.
“This was his family's business,” she said of the 171st, in which Fromlak's father also served. “Jeff always knew what he would do with himself.”
But she and Fromlak had much more in common than the military; they had been friends since the ninth grade.
“He was there for anybody whenever they needed,” Shaw, 26, said. “Everybody thought they were his best friend, and he was theirs.”
Hood said he is gratified by the support of the community.
“It's been huge,” Hood said, “There are tons of volunteers asking to help. The majority of sponsors have come in.”
Business owners have stepped up to fill themed Chinese-auction baskets. More than $6,000 has been collected, and about $1,500 has been spent on T-shirts and wristbands, Hood said.
As of last week, 150 people were registered for the event. Hood expects a field of 200.
“We have big visions for the event,” Shaw, who designed the event website, said. “We hope it is everything everyone wants it to be.”
And it has to be for a young man who was loved by so many.
“If you met him once, you never forgot,” Hood said, “He was good, caring and funny.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- North Hills board undergoes overhaul
- McCandless couple’s charity helps out ‘Just for Kicks’
- La Roche archivist aims to shed light on Pittsburgh during World War I
- Shaler Area board welcomes 4 new members
- North Park project expected to generate short-term inconveniences, long-term benefits
- Shaler school board bids farewell to 3 members
- Cuts in food stamps leave more people turning to pantries
- Upcoming Pine fundraiser offers ‘Flashes of Hope’ to children
- North Pittsburgh Quilters Guild helps stitch together memories
- Arbitration meeting near to determine Shaler teacher salaries
- Local talent looks to bring laughter to Shaler library