As a student in the Olmsted Falls school district, Dara Hosta was known as a caring, gifted athlete and vocal musician always ready to give to others. Her singing graced St. Mary of Falls Church Masses, and her running ability was such that, as her dad Bruce recalls, she once took an intentional second so that another girl could win a race.
On May 26, 2000, Dara collapsed for unknown reasons after winning the 400 meter run in her physical education class at Olmsted Falls High School. She passed away on June 1, 2000.
Since then, the Hosta family and Olmsted Falls community have continued to give back through the annual Olmsted Spirit Race/Walk each spring.
Last weekend, over 700 people participated, raising funds amounting to $25,500 awarded to graduating seniors from Olmsted Falls High School.
Sponsors like Nick Mayer, owner of Westlake dealership Nick Mayer Lincoln, embodied the spirit of the day. Nick donated a car for the post-race raffle. “Bruce was my high school wrestling coach,” said Nick. “I was struggling for direction and he said he wanted me on the team. I resisted but he kept after me and I went on to wrestle in high school and college. He changed my life!”
Dara osta continues to change lives today through the Spirit Run. “I can’t thank the volunteers and sponsors enough,” said Bruce, who was emotional as he spoke to the runners. “You come every year and just do your jobs to make this happen.”
Besides the community spirit this event fosters, all monies raised after expenses go toward college scholarships for Olmsted Falls High School seniors who have shown their school and/or community spirit by the activities they were involved in during their lifetime. When this year’s totals are tallied, the Dara Hosta Spirit Run will have given back nearly$200,000 to deserving Olmsted Falls High School seniors headed to college through the years of the event.