By Sarah Pridgeon
A memorial walk in honor of Ron Materi will be held in Upton on September 7, beginning and ending in the city park. All proceeds will go to the Ron Materi Road Trip Fund, established to provide gas cards to families who must travel to receive treatment for life threatening illnesses.
“The fund was established by our mom, Carla, using his memorial money,” says daughter Kori Meredith. “In today’s economy and in such a rural area, people who need treatment have to travel to get to it, so she thought it would be the best way to help.”
The enterprise has already helped several families in need. The available funds have begun to deplete, but will be replenished through the fundraising efforts of those who participate.
“This is the first of many events we hope to hold to help raise money for those in need,” says Meredith.
Registration opens on September 7 at 7:30 a.m. at the Upton City Park. Walkers will set off at 8 a.m. and runners at 8:30 a.m.
A variety of door prizes will be presented to participants and registration includes a commemorative t-shirt. Upton’s Festival in the Park will be taking place at the finish line for those seeking post-race entertainment.
Participants can register on the day for $30 or before August 30 for $25. Registration forms are available from Hillside Pharmacy in Sundance as well as from the Rec Center in Gillette, the Co-op in Upton, the public library in Wright, Security Insurance in Moorcroft and the Jeff Virchow/Edward Jones Office in Newcastle.
Completed forms can be sent to Ron Materi Road Trip Fund, PO Box 431, Upton, WY 82730 with the check made out to Ron Materi Road Trip Fund.
Members of the community who are unable to attend can still contribute through donations to the fund or by purchasing a t-shirt. Registration forms can also be downloaded at www.facebook.com/ronmateriroadtripfund
Materi was a beloved member of the community who worked at the Thunder Basin Coal Company’s Black Thunder Mine until his retirement in 2011. He passed away on December 1, 2011.
“He was a very generous, kind and giving man,” says Meredith. “He always had a smile on his face and was always looking out for others – he was the kind of man who inspired you to be a better person.”
To inquire about the event or make a donation, call 307-299-1460 or email [email protected] The same contact information can also be used to request help from the fund, which is open to anyone traveling to receive treatment for a life-threatening illness.