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Run honors local hero – QNS.com

Run honors local hero

For years, St. Francis Prep held a 5K fun run to raise money for
students who could not afford tuition or those who lost a parent and were then unable to attend the Fresh Meadows school.
Three years ago, Wally Bishop, the president of the Alumni Board, thought they should tweak the event. He suggested they name the annual fundraising run after a longtime friend of his,
Vinny Giammona, one of 343 firefighters to lose their life during 9/11.
&#8220He was just a tremendous guy, with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. He kind of brought a spark into a room when he was in it,” said Bishop, Class of '80, who ran track with Giammona, a 1979 graduate from St. Francis Prep. &#8220He was the embodiment of what St. Francis Prep is all about.”
So now, the event, to be held Sunday, October 15, is called the St. Francis Prep Captain Vinny Giammona Memorial 5K Fun Run in honor of the St. Francis Prep track star and former lieutenant with Ladder 103 in Manhattan.
For Giammona's sister, Linda, the renaming of the event has changed the way she deals with the start of fall. Her birthday was just a few days before 9/11,
which was also Vinny's 40th, so Linda Giammona wasn't able to
really celebrate during the last
five years.
&#8220Being able to put my energy and heart and soul into this race, it's just given me the opportunity to celebrate his life, where I haven't been able to do for years,” said Linda Giammona, now a part-time consultant with the St. Francis Prep Alumni. &#8220Personally, it's just given me a way to
share with others what a selfless guy he was. September 11,
everybody was a hero. He was a hero well before that because of the things he did on a daily basis.”
&#8220Having people come together
is what this race is all about,”
she continued, &#8220bringing family and friends together, and
ultimately helping students who need help.”
The run, part of homecoming weekend that is capped on Sunday, October 15 by St. Francis Prep's home football game against St. Peter's at St. John's University, includes a 3-on-3
basketball tournament along with a golf outing.
The Fun Run, which will kick off at the 900-student school's location at 6100 Francis Lewis Boulevard on the corner of Horace Harding Expressway, begins with a pee wee race at
9:15 a.m., and the regular 5K race at 9:30 a.m. Medals will be
given out to all.
For more information,
call Linda Giammona at
718-423-8810, Ext. 324 or
by email at
lgiammona@sfponline.org.

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