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Annual run memorializes Perryopolis boy

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Bryon Martini Jr. became ill and died suddenly from a rare blood infection at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in 2004. An event is being held on Sunday to honor his memory and raise money to help others achieve their dreams.

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Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

More than 130 walkers and runners will come together on Sunday to honor the memory of a young Perryopolis boy and raise money to help others achieve their dreams.

The second annual Bryon Martini Jr. 5K Run/Walk will be held on Sunday in Perryopolis. The event is named after Bryon Martini Jr. who become ill and died suddenly from a rare blood infection at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh in 2004.

The boy's cousin Brooke Carson of Philadelphia, who is coordinating the event, said when he passed he was a first-grade student at Central Elementary School. Proceeds raised at the event go to the Bryon Martini Scholarship, an annual scholarship given to a Frazier High School senior student athlete and or involved in extracurricular activities with at least a 3.5 GPA.

“Last year we raised $7,000 and were able to give five $1,000 scholarships to seniors at Frazier,” Carson said.

She said friends and family who host the race had held other events in the past but found this one to be the best fit.

“The more people we could get involved the better and we also wanted to raise as much money as possible to give away as much as possible in his name and this event helps us to do that,” Carson said.

The 3.1 mile race throughout Perryopolis begins and ends at Frazier High School. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m.; balloon release is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.; race starts at 9 a.m. Registration for the race is $25.

Last year there were more than 200 participants. Carson said this year there are already 138 racers registered. New this year is the Kiddie K. The event is a 40-yard dash for children age 5 and under. The event will be held immediately following the main race. Medals will be awarded to all participants.

The young boy's mother Rhonda Martini said she and her husband Bryon Martini Sr. have been moved by the community coming together to raise money in their son's memory.

“It meant the world to us. It was really humbling when we went this past May and gave the scholarships and we just knew it would be something our son would be really proud of,” Martini said.

Those who are unable to participate in the race but would like to help can make donation checks to Rhonda Martini with Bryon's 5K written in the memo line. Donations should be mailed to: Rhonda Martini, 522 Perry Road, Perryopolis, PA 15473.

Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.

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