By Jill Fox
In honor of their high school teacher and coach, Scott Beigel, who was killed in the Parkland shooting on February 14, 2018, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Cross-Country team is holding their third annual Run 4 Beigel.
During the school shooting, Beigel was fatally shot outside his classroom door after holding it open for fleeing students when he went to lock it after ushering them inside. One of his students, Kelsey Friend, believes the killer bypassed the room, figuring no one was inside when he saw Beigel lying by the door. Friend told ABC News that Beigel saved her life.
After Beigel’s death, his dedicated cross-country team orchestrated the original Run 4 Beigel in just two days. Still an entirely student-run event, but an official 5K since 2019, the goal is to raise funds for the Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund.
“We felt like it would be nice to keep this tradition going with the team and raise money for a good cause,” said Monique Miquel, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior and cross country co-captain.
The charity sends underprivileged children affected by gun violence to summer camp, in the hopes of bringing them positive memories. More importantly, it keeps them out of harm’s way over the summer, when they are not in school.
Beigel’s mother, Linda Schulman, said her son loved camp. He attended one in Pennsylvania for over 25 summers, first as a camper and later as a counselor.
“He had gone to sleep-away camp since he was seven-years-old and even became a teacher so he could still spend his summers there,” she said.
As one of just three of Coach Beigel’s students remaining on the team, Miquel said this year, they are hoping for an increase in participation to raise even more money for the Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund.
Last year, over 500 individuals participated in the Run 4 Beigel 5K, which raised over $14,000, and sent 54 children to summer camp. Schulman said the goal for 2020 is to support a total of 109 children.
“We want to continue sending kids until they are 17, and can become counselors and pay it forward,” she said, “This is what my son would want.”
Schulman and her husband, Michael, will be attending from New York, along with Scott’s two best friends. She said last year’s event was incredible, and each year, the cross-country team enhances it from the year before.
“It’s out of love. They do it because they loved their coach, and their coach loved them, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Schulman.
The Run 4 Beigel will take place on Saturday, February 1, at 8 a.m. at Pine Trails Park, located at 10555 Trails End, in Parkland. The event will award the top three overall men and women as well as the top three for each age group.
Registration, available online until January 31 at noon, is $35 for adults, $30 for children under 18, and $25 for Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and staff. Registration is also available in person the day of the event.