This will be the last year for the Mike Canty Family Fun Run, but family members say the legacy of the event’s namesake will live on.
Linton High School graduate Michael Canty was 30 years old and a commodities broker for Carr Futures in New York City when he lost his life in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Every Labor Day weekend since then, his family and friends have honored his memory with the Fun Run, which raises money for the Michael Canty Memorial Fund.
To date, the fund has provided 11 Schenectady High School students with scholarships. Awards are based on the applicant’s personality and character traits, his or her relationships with others, as well as academic achievement and financial need.
The Fun Run is equal parts fundraiser, family reunion, athletic event and party. Hosting it has been cathartic for the Canty family.
“It has been a very positive thing that we’ve done,” said Mike Canty’s mother, Kay Canty. “We’ve worked with a young committee to do it and they are very positive and it’s been very healing for us to do something positive.”
The final Fun Run will be held Sunday, Sept. 2, in Schenectady’s Central Park.
So far, close to 500 people have registered, a number that’s up from previous years, said Ed Canty, Mike Canty’s father. He projected that the event will raise $30,000 with the help of corporate sponsors.
This year’s Fun Run will include a kids’ race at 2 p.m. and a 5K run and 3K walk beginning at 3 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., there will be a chicken barbecue. Entertainment, including crafts, a bounce house, a climbing wall, music, dancing and raffles will continue until 7 p.m.
The event will be staffed by many members of the Canty family and a few of them plan to participate in the run.
Kay Canty said the event will go out on a high note.
“It’s been 10 years. It’s been a long time. The fellowship fund is doing well now and we feel that it’s time to stop the run,” Ed Canty said.
Scholarships will still be generated from the fund for five or 10 more years, he estimated. Recipients are awarded $7,500 a year for four years to help pay for college expenses.
According to a Web page dedicated to the memorial fund, as of May 31 a total of $271,000 in scholarships has been awarded to graduates of Schenectady High School.
Mike Canty’s fund also contributes to the Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar program, which assists and encourages economically disadvantaged students from Albany, Schenectady and Troy high schools to graduate from high school and attend college.
In addition, a financial award has been established in Canty’s memory at his alma mater, Loyola College in Baltimore, Md.
Kay Canty said she thinks her son would be thrilled by the efforts that have been made in his memory.
“I think he’d be very happy that we’ve supported Schenectady High School and the Sponsor-A-Scholar program,” she said.