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Shine Like Susan 5K Raises $24,000 to Fight Colon Cancer

11.07.22

Scranton, PA — Shine Like Susan 5K organizers, who are also sophomores at Abington Heights High School, recently presented a check in the amount of $24,620.30 to the family of Susan Burke to support the Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Susan Burke, a beloved community member and running coach, passed away from colon cancer in July 2022. The Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation was established in July by the family of Susan Burke to provide charitable support to individuals with a colon cancer diagnosis who are experiencing financial hardship.

A group of Abington Heights High School students from the Class of 2025 gathered to organize the Shine Like Susan 5K, which took place on Labor Day morning, Monday, September 5, 2022, at Abington Heights Middle School, to benefit the Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer at the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Over 200 people participated in the race.

Jack Farrell, president of his sophomore class at Abington Heights High School, saw an opportunity to unite his local community and the regional running community in memory of Susan Burke. “After seeing the sadness of so many and learning that Susan’s family established the Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer, I wanted to see how I could help,” stated Farrell. Farrell, a runner himself and a member of the varsity Cross Country and Track & Field teams, immediately got to work planning and organizing the Shine Like Susan 5K race. “I approached and gained support of the AHHS principal, my Cross Country coach, and the AH district administration as well as Susan’s family, and then assembled a group of my fellow classmates and friends,” he added. Together with his team, he spent time meeting with the Scranton Area Community Foundation and other community leaders to learn how to set up the race and the charitable donation process. “We were amazed at how supportive the local businesses were. We were happy to successfully gain sponsorships from businesses willing to help,” Farrell stated.

The race took place at the Abington Heights Middle School on September 5, 2022. Despite soaking rain, over 200 people showed up to provide support. “Even with the pouring rain, it was amazing to see so many people come together smiling and really shining like Susan always did,” Farrell added.

The Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer provides financial support to local people and their family to help ease their burdens as they battle colon cancer. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as administrator of The Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer Fund.

“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is grateful to work with people like Mr. Farrell, who have a desire to bring people together to make a difference,” stated Maggie Martinelli, Vice President of Administration and Operations at the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “Through the Shine Like Susan 5K, Mr. Farrell and his classmates have helped to ensure that Susan Burke’s legacy will continue to provide charitable support for many years to come through the Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer.”

Shine Like Susan 5K organizers, who are all sophomores at Abington Heights High School, present a check in the amount of $24,620.30 to the family of Susan Burke to support the Susan Burke Foundation for Colon Cancer Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation. Standing (l-r): Elizabeth Schneider; Brock Pentasuglio; Abbey Burke, daughter of Susan Burke; Katherine Fang, daughter of Susan Burke; Jamie Ksiazek, son of Susan Burke; Maggie Martinelli, Scranton Area Community Foundation Vice President of Administration and Operations; Jack Farrell, Shine Like Susan 5k founder and director; Conner Abel; Lauren Lockett. Kneeling (l-r): Hunter Pentasuglio; JT Healey; Tate Pentasuglio.


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