From: Joe Ihrke

 

Congratulations to the Fool Five Race organization on yet another successful road race. It’s hard to believe it has been 43 years since the initial race in 1979. A huge shoutout to the countless community volunteers it has taken over the years to execute this special annual event. Their dedication and commitment to raise funds for cancer research is awe-inspiring, but in doing so those combined efforts also make many people, myself included, proud to call Lewiston my hometown. 

This year’s featured guest of honor, Jack Radar, holds an extra special bond to many within Lewiston and surrounding communities. Jack served as teacher, coach and athletic director within the Lewiston-Altura School District for 30 years from 1969 to 1999. Over his career Jack displayed a deep passion for athletics that served as a teaching tool both on and off the playing fields. What is truly extraordinary is that passion remains on full display today as he continues to mentor young athletes and support local athletic teams.

Jack’s display of passion continues in spite of the fact that in 2017 he was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma involving three different types of cancer cells – the “triple hit.” Jack endured many months of treatments and today is a cancer survivor due to his determination and drive and the love and support of family, friends and the Lewiston Cancer Support Group. Jack often writes how blessed he is to have such caring friends and a community that gave much needed positive support when he was going through difficult times. The truth is we have been blessed with his display of perseverance, integrity and people-loving nature that continues to inspire so many yet today. 

As one of Jack’s former student-athletes, I wish to say “thank you” for the mentoring and coaching he provided in my early life. Knowing that I am just one of many such former students and that he continues to do the same to same today compels me to make our community aware of the “Jack Rader Scholarship Award.” Implemented in 2016, the award is presented annually to a graduating senior at Lewiston-Altura High School that has excelled in academics, athletics, and community during their high school career. A committee at the high school selects the recipient, who receives a $500 scholarship in Jack’s name to be used to further their educational studies. Congratulations to the following past recipients Alex Brown, Charles Kaczorowski, Ciarra McNally, Benjamin Oevering, Peyton Schumacher, and Spencer Speltz.

To keep the scholarship going, and potentially increase the annual award, I would invite others who would like to honor Jack, to contribute to the scholarship. Donations can be made to the Jack Rader Scholarship Fund at the Winona Community Foundation. You can donate at www.winonacf.org or by calling 507-454-6511. I would also appreciate you sharing this information with friends, family members and classmates to help spread the word.