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Harrison Students Help Boston Marathon Runner Finish Race

Ty Powers collects a check for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute after completing the Boston Marathon at S.J. Preston School in Harrison.
Ty Powers collects a check for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute after completing the Boston Marathon at S.J. Preston School in Harrison. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Harrison Central School District
Students at S.J. Preston Elementary School in Harrison cheer on Ty Powers as he finishes up the Boston Marathon.
Students at S.J. Preston Elementary School in Harrison cheer on Ty Powers as he finishes up the Boston Marathon. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Harrison Central School District
Ty Powers and members of the Green Key Service Club at S.J. Preston Elementary School in Harrison.
Ty Powers and members of the Green Key Service Club at S.J. Preston Elementary School in Harrison. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Harrison Central School District

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Students at S.J. Preston Elementary School in Harrison gave a Boston Marathon runner the chance to finish the race while raising more than $3,000 for charity.

On April 15, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings , the students at S.J. Preston had participated in their own marathon organized by Principal Jeremy Barker and teachers Susan Spieholtz, Marissa Coulehan, Timothy Poole-DiSalvo and Jennifer Burkhardt. Members of the Green Key Service Club organized a loose change donation drive and raffled off a baseball signed by Yankees pitcher and Harrison resident Mariano Rivera.

The students were able to raise more than $3,000 to be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in honor of Barker's childhood friend Ty Powers. Powers was running in the 2013 Boston Marathon in memory of his father, who had recently passed away after a battle with cancer, and in honor of his wife, who was recently diagnosed.

The students used a GPS to track Powers as he ran his first marathon. He was about a half mile away from the finish line when the bombs went off, and he was unable to finish the race.

Barker persuaded Powers to finish running the marathon at S.J. Preston last week. The students cheered him on as he ran the last leg of the marathon, and then presented him with a Boston Marathon medal and a check for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“For me, it was a real moment of pride,” said Barker.  “To see our school community embrace this worthy cause and a person who is a great friend was a moving experience.  I am so proud of our Green Key Service Club’s efforts and pleased with the overwhelming response from the entire community of West Harrison.”

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