Matthew R. Row was a mechanical engineer, a loving father, a devoted husband and a great friend, passionate about higher education.
Row passed away in November of 2008 after an industrial accident in Cheektowaga. To keep his memory alive, a group of Row's co-workers organized the "Run for Row 5k" to establish a trust for his children's education. That run is now offering Western New York high school seniors who have lost a parent or guardian a $2500 scholarship.
Money raised during the 5k goes directly to the scholarship fund. This scholarship was created because Row was passionate about education.
"He graduated with his mechanical engineering degree when I was pregnant with our daughter. I was ready to pop when he graduated. Then he had started his masters degree program...one of the reasons he furthered his education was to encourage our children to do the same when they became older," says Andrea Row, Matt's wife.
Andrea says the run is more than just exercise, it's a way to create a connected community for people who have experienced similar loss. "The thing I found the most comforting during this whole journey is connecting with other people. Meeting with other widowed people has been a huge comfort and the students who have lost a parent or guardian can get the same comfort by being around other kids who are going through the same thing," says Andrea.
The run is scheduled for Sunday, August 20th at Como Lake Park. Registration begins at 9 a.m. You can register here.
Pre-registration for $25 closes on August 1st. The race costs $30 after the deadline.
For more information on the scholarship and the foundation, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (716) 771-1691.