It’s not just any charity to Mary Beddell. It’s one that she, her siblings and friends got started to honor her mother, Josette Beddell of Canton, who died of breast cancer.
A pink wave will sweep through Canton’s Stadium Park on Sunday when hundreds of runners and walkers donning pink T-shirts will unite on a mission: to raise money for a local charity. But it’s not just any charity to Mary Beddell. It’s one that she, her siblings and friends got started to honor her mother, Josette Beddell of Canton, who died of breast cancer. “You don’t have to go far to do good, my mom used to say,” Mary Beddell said. “That’s really why we started the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation.”
By the numbers:
2009 The year the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation 5K began. It started as a modest event for about 80 people but has grown into a foundation with total assets of about $45,000. It has distributed thousands in college scholarships and hardship grants to Northeast Ohio families affected by breast cancer.
10th Anniversary of Josette Beddell’s death will be recognized Sunday. Breast cancer ended Josette’s life in 2002. Her five children and their friends, including Beth and Aaron Jones of Canton, created the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation that now sponsors two major events each year. The other event is the Wind Chimes Ball, which drew 300 people to the McKinley Grand Hotel last February.
35 Years and younger is the age of the core group of mostly McKinley High School graduates who started the foundation. “It is pretty amazing what we’ve been able to do,” Mary Beddell said. “It is really eye-opening how many young people want to do good. Our age group gets a bad reputation at times, but we’ve been able to be a vehicle for our generation. They want to donate. They want to participate. They want to make a difference.”
COMPILED BY MELISSA GRIFFY SEETON