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Mt. Pleasant teen works to make Seth Menart Memorial 5K an annual event

Kelly Vernon | Trib Total Media
Mt. Pleasant Area’s Anna Riddle places fliers around the school for the 2nd annual Seth Menart Memorial 5K Walk/Run, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, to benefit the Seth Menart Memorial Scholarship Fund. Race day registration will start at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students. Photo taken Friday, April 25, 2014

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 5:06 p.m.

Anna Riddle never met the late Seth Menart of Mt. Pleasant, but she considers him a hero, so much so that she has planned a second 5K event to help fund the scholarship created in his memory.

The second annual Seth Menart Memorial 5K Walk/Run and Kids Fun Day will be held Saturday on the grounds of the Mt. Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High school.

Menart was an athlete whose love of soccer he enjoyed at the collegiate level before his young life ended because of injuries suffered in an automobile accident in May 2009.

Since then, his family has held a golf outing and soccer camp. It was through her volunteering with the soccer camp that Riddle became passionate about helping to keep his memory alive.

“His family's love and devotion to funding this scholarship in his memory has touched me and I wanted to do more,” Riddle, 18, said of the event. “I came up with the idea of a 5K last year. It was such a great success that I decided to continue to hold the 5K in Seth's memory again this year.”

There was a strong showing of support at last year's inaugural event. Riddle hopes even more community support will occur this year.

“Last year, we had close to 100 participants and I'm hoping more people will come out and support the Menart family,” Riddle said, adding that one of the big changes this year is that all of the proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.

“Last year, I worked with the football team and split the money with them, but this year I decided to do the event on my own so I could give Mr. and Mrs. Menart as much money as possible to help with the scholarship fund,” she said.

A scholarship has been awarded in Menart's memory the past several years to a Mt. Pleasant Area senior who is interested in the sport Menart so passionately loved.

Wishing to focus on an overall family-type event, Riddle also will offer a kids course on the football field, inviting the younger participants to participate in a sprint from the 50-yard line to the end zone and back.

The regular 5K will start and end at the school.

“It's a fairly moderate course,” Riddle said. “The runners start on the track and take a lap around the parking lot, where they continue out to the main road. The road is blocked off for the race. They go through Shaft, the whole way to Low Street, where they turn around and work their way back. They finish at the 50-yard line on the far side of the track.”

Riddle, who will graduate this spring, plans to attend Bethany College in the fall, to major in biology. But she intends to keep the 5K event in memory of her hero ongoing.

Riddle said she wants to enlist Mt. Pleasant senior high girls soccer players each year to help.

Mt. Pleasant Principal Ken Williams said Menart was an actively involved young man and soccer player for both Mount Pleasant Area and California University of Pennsylvania before tragically losing his life.

“Please consider participating or donating to this cause,” he said.

Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m. with the walk/run to begin at 9.

Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for students. Medals will be awarded to winners in all of the age categories.

“We are really proud of her,” mother Hope Riddle said.

Anna Riddle said she is pleased with all of the support and backing.

“I would like to thank all of the local businesses and clubs for their generous donations and Mt. Pleasant Area's National Honor Society for getting me volunteers to work race day,” she said. “I would especially like to thank our principal, Dr. Williams, who has gone above and beyond to help me in any way possible to ensure the event is a success.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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