About 200 people turned out a year ago to participate in a 10-kilometer run to help raise money for the sports teams at South High School.
Appropriately named the Southside Scorcher, the run will return for a second edition on July 13 at South. But there’s a whole new meaning to the latest version.
A one-mile Quick walk/run has been added to honor longtime South High social studies teacher Jim Quick, who is battling a rare aggressive form of cancer in his salivary gland.
Money from entry fees for the walk/run will be used to purchase something that would be placed permanently in South’s new athletics facilities to honor Quick’s efforts to help students and support the school’s sports teams, said event organizer Betsey Goering, who teaches and coaches cross country at South.
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“We’d also like to have Jim and his family give us some input on what we put in there,” she said. “We really don’t know what it will be. A lot of it depends on how successful this is and how much money we have to work with.
“But we do know we want Jim’s legacy to be a part of the new facilities.”
Quick is well deserving of such an honor, say his former colleagues and students.
“It’s just the way he carries himself,” said Alonso Arredondo, a 2003 South graduate and now an assistant football coach at the school. “He always has a smile on his face. Even if you didn’t have him for a teacher, you knew who he was.”
Quick spent 20 years at South before the cancer forced him to retire in 2012 – about 18 months after it was first diagnosed.
The cancer has spread to his liver and chemotherapy saps his energy. He’s already lived past the doctors’ expectations.
Still, he substituted at South this past school year.
“I love teaching,” Quick said. “I miss it.”
That doesn’t surprise Cody Dickman, South’s track coach.
“Jim is such a kind, gentle and caring person,” Dickman said. “He was always the first in the building to ask how my team was doing. He was always congratulating kids.
“He embodies a good teacher.”
Quick also maintains his job helping manage the Starlite Drive-In, though his days aren’t nearly as long as they once were. He has worked at drive-ins since he was 14 when he began helping at the old Westport Drive-In, where Towne West Square now stands.
“Staying busy is a lifesaver, too,” Quick said. “If you have too much time, you worry too much about things. I’m certainly guilty of that.”
He wonders why all the fuss to honor him, but in his typical graceful manner adds, “It’s nice of them to think of me.”
Quick always thought of them.
He dipped into his pocket to buy bottled water for the girls’ basketball team or donate money to purchase some piece of equipment for other teams. His four children attended South, and two of his daughters participated in sports.
“There’s no better person to be recognized than Jim,” Arredondo said. “He was never a coach, but he was always involved.”
The runs will start and finish at the parking lot at South’s Carpenter Stadium that’s located on the east side of Seneca between 34th and 35th streets South. The 10K will start at 7 a.m.; the Quick mile/walk at 8:15 a.m. Registration at the stadium starts at 6 a.m.
For more information or to preregister, go to titan-run.com.
Expect to see Quick at the event. He works out at the Y as often as he’s able.
“I’ll probably just walk the one mile,” he said. “I’ve always liked sports so helping the athletic department was something I wanted to do. I hope they raise a bunch of money.”