Registration is underway and excitement is building for the fourth annual Jacob Pettitt Memorial 5K, scheduled to take place Nov. 4 at Fairview United Methodist Church.
The annual event serves as the only fundraiser for the Jacob Daniel Pettitt Memorial Scholarship Fund, which each year provides a scholarship for a graduating East Surry High School student.
The event and the scholarship honor the memory of Jacob Pettitt, who died at the age of 15 after an automobile accident on Sept. 3, 2013. An East Surry sophomore, Pettitt remained in a coma for 19 days as fellow students, friends and community residents prayed and reached out in support of the Pettitt family. He died on Sept. 22 of that year.
The walk/run will take place two days before what would have been Pettitt’s 20th birthday. Allison Dotson, who was Jacob’s youth director at Fairview United Methodist Church, is serving as primary event director, supported by family and friends.
“Jacob left us far too early,” Dotson said. “His passing brought about a revival in the Shoals community as well as in Surry County. Jacob had high standards and always strived to be the best at what he did. Through this event we aim to honor those standards by coming together to raise money for a scholarship to be awarded to someone who shares those standards.”
Those standards are emphasized by a quote by Jacob Pettitt on Twitter. “One day I want to look God in the eyes and tell Him that I’ve used every single ounce of talent He gave me,” he wrote.
Day-of-race registration will begin at 7 a.m. with the 5K scheduled to start at 8:30. Cost will be $30 per adult participant or $20 for participants younger than 18. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Pettitt scholarship fund.
The scholarship will be awarded based upon an application process which will include an essay to be written on one of several available topics. Topics will reflect Jacob Pettitt’s interests, involvements and aspirations. Entrants will be judged anonymously, with the selection to be made by Pettitt’s parents, Chrystal and Jason Pettitt.
Based upon Jacob Pettitt’s well-rounded diversity of interests and proficiency in academics, the scholarship bearing his name will consider GPA as well as a desire to seek further education in medicine, biology or the sciences. Another consideration will be a reflection of Jacob’s active involvement in his church.
Last year’s Jacob Daniel Pettitt Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Brittany Inman.
According to Dotson, last year’s event included almost 150 participants and organizers are eager to surpass that mark this year. This year will also see reached an overall goal of $10,000 raised over the 5K’s four-year history.
“We’re approaching 100 people registered and there’s a lot of excitement,” Dotson said. “People’s reasons for taking part are twofold. We have a lot of people who come out to support Jacob’s family and his memory. But we also have over half who didn’t know Jacob and they come out to support a community event and enjoy a beautiful run.”
Additional information and early registration instructions can be found by visiting www.itsyourrace.com and using the key word, Jacob.
Fairview United Methodist Church is located at 3692 Quaker Church Road, in the Shoals community of Pinnacle.