Desert Vista High School will be hosting its second Pat Quinn Run, honoring the beloved security guard who passed away last May from a heart attack during an early morning run on campus.
The event, a 5K fun run, laps around the school grounds visiting the areas where Quinn was stationed during his time at DV.
The event is not a competitive race, yet a time to shed light on a person who was near and dear to the Thunder community.
At the beginning of the event, members of the school will have a quick introduction speaking on behalf of Quinn and the memories they shared with their departed friend.
Vendors will be present during the run, while both the girls and boys cross country teams will have an inner-squad race before the community run begins.
Last year’s Pat Quinn Run had an overwhelming amount of success with nearly 700 community members paying their respects to Quinn and his family.
Quinn worked as a security guard, manning different areas around the school, but was also involved with the girls cross country team as the assistant coach to Doug Christofis.
He was the assistant coach for a year, but the impact he had on the girls was tremendous, Christofis said.
Christofis said Quinn was the type of person who spread happiness throughout the people he made contact with.
“There was always a warm greeting and welcoming feeling. I think when you’re that kind of person, with that kind of soul, people are drawn to you and you’re remembered in that positive light as someone who raised human spirits,” Christofis said.
Although Quinn was labeled as a security guard at DV, he was more in the occupation of lifting human spirits.
When Quinn passed Christofis and Chris Hanson, the boys cross country coach, wanted to create an event that would honor their friend and to make sure his memory was never forgotten.
Christofis, who recently resigned as the cross country coach and now focuses on strength and conditioning for the athletic department, spoke on how DV staff and students remember Quinn’s spirit.
“What we wanted to do was create an event where Pat’s name would be remembered, and because of his feelings of what cross country did for him in that one year and the relationship he had with those girl, they almost became his daughters,” Christofis said.
Being that Christofis is no longer the head coach he approached Jeff Messer, who is now head coach of the girls cross country team, with the idea of keeping the Pat Quinn Run an annual event. Messer embraced the idea.
“Although a new coach who may want to create their own new traditions, he basically embraced the idea about this was something that had to be done,” Christofis said.
With Christofis only working with Quinn for a year during the cross country season, there was an impact which surfaced during the time Quinn was a part of the coaching staff.
The hopes from the run are to continue the event each year to honor Quinn and continuing the memory of what he meant to the school and the community.
“As people it says a lot about you on how you are remembered, and I think the reception of this has been outstanding. He was the guy at the entrance of the school where students and parents would drive in there with a smile on his face no matter what might have been going on in his life.”
Girls Cross Country Booster Club president Elaine Hicks said Quinn was very inspiring and motivating to others, especially towards the students at DV.
“He was always very positive and upbeat. His attitude and smile was just simply contagious,” Hicks said.
The run is a free event, but donations are accepted and given to benefit the cross country teams.
Participants are also encouraged to wear green and the craziest hat they own because during holidays Quinn was remembered for wearing out-of-the-ordinary hats.
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