Runners come off Rohda Drive on to Field Drive and head towards Waterford Union High School Dec. 24 in the first annual Jingle for Janet fun run. Janet Parker died of bile duct cancer earlier this year. The run, which will be an annual event, was held in her honor. Proceeds will be used to benefit cancer charities. (Photo by Chris Bennett)

Event raises funds for cancer charity

By Chris Bennett


Everyone knows it’s impossible to run away from problems. A suitable solution might be to start a fun run.

Eric Parker, a long-time running coach at Waterford Union High School, organized a fun run each year for distance runner alumni on Christmas Eve day.

“He would always have hot cider and some snacks afterwards,” said Waterford cross country coach Nate Schreiber said. “It was an opportunity to get alumni together, since they were home.”

Parker’s idea took on a new form when his wife, Janet, passed away in October at age 57 due to bile duct cancer.

A fun run that will now be part of the community’s calendar was born from the Parker’s family tragedy. Schreiber said Janet’s passing got him thinking it was time to use a loose gathering of alumni as an opportunity to raise money.

“Jingle for Janet” was born as a result.

“I’m very pleased, and I’m very happy for Eric,” Schreiber said. “It was an opportunity for him to focus his energy and focus his morning, for the most part, on something positive that he’s passionate about.”

To read the entire story see the Dec. 28 edition of the Waterford Post.