On Friday June 8, at 6:30 p.m. in Cazenovia Park, the gun will sound to begin the 20th annual 5K race to benefit Mount Mercy Academy. The race, which began in 1999, was originally known as Jack’s Race but in 2008 was renamed the MMA 5K.
The race was begun to honor the memory of the late Jack Donahue, who from 1985 until his death in January 1999 served as the cross country and track coach at Mount Mercy. The race was established in August of 1999 to provide scholarships in Donahue’s name to provide a Catholic high school education for deserving young women and to help maintain the necessary resources for the track and cross country programs.
Donahue’s wife Kathleen and long-time friend and classmate Karen Connors Erickson have been involved in the race since its inception. The Erickson family, owners of Connors Hot Dog Stand, have provided hot dogs for the racers and the others who attend the race.
This year’s race honorees are Jack Reid, Kate Coughlin Lynch ´76, Don “Doc” Doctor, as well as Colleen Coyle ´99 and Jillian Scarcello Cannan ´03, owners of Buffalo Collective.
Jack Reid has served Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in numerous capacities and has received several awards for his dedication and volunteerism from Bishop Timon-St. Jude. Reid was also awarded the Michael J. Diggins Community Service Award from the Ryan Purcell Foundation in 2013. Reid has been involved in the Jack Donohue Memorial 5K and MMA 5K for the past 20 years.
Kate Coughlin Lynch has taught at Mount Mercy Academy for 24 years. She, along with her daughters Megan and Molly, are graduates of Mount Mercy. Lynch is a member of the school’s Advisory and Planning Committee and moderator of the Health Care and Career Club. She has served as the department chairperson, athletic director, and golf and tennis coach. Lynch is one of the women responsible for introducing golf and lacrosse to the Monsignor Martin League.
Don “Doc” Doctor is an active committee member and volunteer for the Mount Mercy 5K race. In recognition for his part with various neighborhood activities and events, Doctor was awarded the Michael J. Diggins Community Service Award at the 2015 Ryan Purcell Memorial 5K. He has served as director of the West Seneca Youth Baseball Association and has logged hundreds of volunteer hours facilitating activities for West Seneca Youth Hockey. Doctor is a true advocate for our community.
Colleen Coyle and Jillian Scarcello Cannan, both graduates of Mount Mercy Academy, have been co-owners of Buffalo Collective since 2016. Buffalo Collective is a creative studio that hosts DIY wood sign and apparel parties throughout Western New York. Buffalo Collective has been a generous supporter of Mount Mercy and its fundraising events.
Registration for the race, as well as other pertinent details, can be found on the Mount Mercy Academy website. There is a post-race party for the runners, and non-runners may also attend the party for a nominal fee.
Mount Mercy Academy continues to be a true leader in the community, educating the young women of Western New York for over 110 years. Alumnae have grown to over 12,000 members, 70 percent of whom still live and work in Western New York. All proceeds from the MMA 5K directly benefit the students of Mount Mercy Academy and the Alumnae Scholarship Fund.