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Canterbury Hosts 21st Run For Joe Event

Kelly Slonaker

Canterbury hosted the 21st—and final—Run for Joe event on Sunday, October 6 to commemorate the 21 years of life of  Lance Corporal Giuseppe “Joe” Leto, a Canterbury alumnus of the class of 1997. The event has been held every year since 1999 to honor Joe, who died during training exercises at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

Fellow classmates, family friends, faculty members, and current students participated in a one-mile fun run or a 5K run/walk over the cross country course in remembrance of Joe’s legacy. A reception was held afterward near the Sheehy Family Field, where family and classmates remembered Joe as an exceptional friend and a passionate member of the Canterbury wrestling team.

Joe's brother, Vincent Leto '00, thanked family, friends, classmates, and running enthusiasts for attending the event and recounted the day in his senior year at Canterbury that Dave Wilson—then Director of Athletics—asked if Vinny and his family would like to host a run on campus to celebrate Joe's life. Vinny said, "Never in our wildest dreams did my family imagine that this tradition of honoring my brother would last for 21 years."  

On behalf of the entire Canterbury family, Rachel presented the Leto family with a plaque to commemorate the School's deep appreciation for their 21-year commitment and support of the Run for Joe event and the Giuseppe Leto Scholarship Fund. Rachel invited former Director of Athletics Dave Wilson to join her in the presentation, along with Joe's wrestling coach and former faculty member Bob O'Donnell, and other faculty in attendance who knew Joe as a student.  

Initially intended to be a one-time event, Run for Joe had become a New Milford tradition, raising more than $200,000 in support of the Memorial Scholarship Fund which provides financial assistance to a New Milford-area Canterbury day students. Though this was the final Run For Joe, the scholarship is self-sustaining and will continue to benefit students for years to come.

Run For Joe Photos