Archbishop Molloy HS remembers former student Karina Vetrano of Howard Beach with memorial run

Vetrano run
Photos courtesy of Joseph Sommo

Although Karina Vetrano, the Howard Beach jogger who was murdered last summer, may be gone, her memorial lives on at her alma mater, Archbishop Molloy High School.

The Briarwood high school honored Vetrano’s memory during an overnight relay walk/run event at the campus on Friday, June 23, and into the morning of June 24. There was a morning Mass, brunch, and the dedication of a memorial bench to honor the late Vetrano.

To kick off the rally, at 8 p.m. on Friday night, Phil Vetrano, Karina’s father and a graduate of Molloy Class of 1974, took the first lap of the walk/run by himself while carrying his daughter’s running shoes. He then handed them off to lead detective Christian Quezada, and all of the other participants joined in.

Over 300 friends and family members, Molloy students and teachers, alumni, and members of the Howard Beach community attended the walk/run, Mass, brunch and memorial dedication ceremony for Vetrano—who was a member of Molloy’s first co-ed graduating class in 2004. As of June 24, over $60,000 was raised for The Karina Vetrano Memorial Scholarship, and continues to grow each day.

The scholarship, once fully realized, will benefit future young women entering Molloy.

Vetrano loved butterflies, and that was a theme carried throughout much of the imagery hung around the school and during the event. The Vetrano family even released butterflies in a tribute to Karina during the bench dedication ceremony.

Vetrano also identified with the number 11, which was recognized during the event as her classmates from the Class of 2004 started their portion of the walk/run at 11 p.m. on Friday night, and the brunch on Saturday morning began exactly at 11:11 a.m.

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