FRYBURG, Pa. (EYT) – The 11th Annual Fryburg Mayfest 5K Fun Run/Walk is slated for Friday, May 28, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. This year’s race is being held in honor of Samantha Schmader for her musical service within the community.
Touted as being “one of the toughest races, but one of the most fun,” the Fun Run/Walk will start at the Saint Michael’s Church along State Route 208 in Fryburg.
It takes place on an all-blacktop course that runs through the rolling hills of Fryburg and Marble.
Participants are asked to arrive early to register.
About Samantha Schmader
Samantha Schmader “Sam” was born and raised in the Fryburg area. She is the daughter of Sam and Ann Smerkar, of Marble. She attended North Clarion Elementary and High School. She then studied music education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She couldn’t wait to accept her first teaching position and move across the country to Holbrook, Arizona, where she taught music and completed her Masters Degree at Northern Arizona University.
She married Eric Schmader, her high school sweetheart, and they lived in Arizona for five years. When their daughter Abigail was born, they decided they wanted her to have a childhood like they had growing up, so they moved back to the state of Pennsylvania.
After living and teaching in several communities, Sam was fortunate to move to Fryburg and begin teaching at North Clarion High School. She later became the elementary music teacher.
Samantha and Eric welcomed a son, Collin, and he is currently a junior at North Clarion. Abigail is a digital sales specialist in Butler, and Eric is the CEO at Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Marble. Samantha is a member of St. Michael Church in Fryburg, where she began playing the organ at the age of twelve. Moving back to the area seemed to be Samantha’s destiny.
Samantha was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in October of 2018. Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. After being diagnosed and becoming more informed about MS, Samantha realizes that her symptoms presented themselves as early as 2001. She is passionate that society creates an awareness of this incurable illness.
“Every MS patient has a different response to the disease. Some patients only suffer from mild symptoms while others end up in a variety of highly debilitated states.”
There is no cure for MS, but there are many treatments available to manage the disease. Samantha’s current treatment is aqua therapy to help her mobility and a monthly infusion. Her MS made it impossible for her to continue working, and she took an early retirement after twenty-five years of teaching.
The Mayfest 5K on Friday, May 28, will be held in Samantha’s honor. Along with her passion for MS awareness, she is focused on educating and promoting the youth in our local community. The proceeds from the 5K will be donated to the North Clarion elementary music program. As a former music teacher, Samantha has personally seen how music education can improve memory, attention, physical coordination, and mental development. It is a cause close to her heart.
Samantha told exploreClarion.com, “I refuse to let MS define me. It’s true I’m a totally different person but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I focus on the big picture.
“We can’t change what we’ve been dealt, but we can change how we deal with it. I don’t dread the future anymore.”
About the Race
The Fun Run/Walk will start promptly at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28, in front of the Saint Michael’s Church on Route 208.
Racers will travel down Route 208 into Marble on Marble Road where they will turn around at the end of Marble Road, behind Montana’s Country Cafe. Participants will then travel back up Route 208 into Fryburg, past Saint Michael’s Church and continue on Route 208, turning left onto the Old Fryburg Road, and past the Fryburg car wash. Racers will turn around at the end of Old Fryburg Road, where there is a water station. They will run back up Old Fryburg Road, onto Route 208, and back to the finish line at the entrance of the Saint Michael’s Church parking lot on the left of Route 208.
How to Register
Registration for the 5K is now open.
Registration options can be found here.
Race day registration will be available.
For more information on the Fryburg Mayfest click here.