Canterbury School in New Milford has announced the Run for Joe event has raised more than $200,000 in support of the school’s Giuseppe Leto Scholarship Fund throughout its history.
The Run for Joe was held Oct. 6 to commemorate the 21 years of the life of the late Lance Corporal Giuseppe “Joe” Leto, a Canterbury alumnus of the class of 1997.
The 2019 event was the last Run for Joe.
The event had 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
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, of the class of 2000, 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.
"Never in our wildest dreams did my family imagine that this tradition of honoring my brother would last for 21 years,” Vinny said.
On behalf of the entire Canterbury family, the Leto family was presented with a plaque to commemorate the school's appreciation for their 21-year commitment and support of the Run for Joe event and the Giuseppe Leto Scholarship Fund.
Wilson, along with Joe's wrestling coach and former faculty member Bob O'Donnell, and other faculty in attendance who knew Joe as a student, were there for the presentation.
Though the 2019 Run for Joe was the last one, the scholarship is self-sustaining and will continue to benefit students for years to come.