Bob Paul recalls his daughter Ashley having a positive outlook on life and her love of three things — running, volunteerism and Halloween.
“She was involved with cross country, running and Interact Club at (Eastern Regional) High School, and Halloween was her favorite day,” Paul recalled.
Ashley also coached the 2011 championship Voorhees Middle School girls field hockey team.
Paul said Ashley loved being a part of community and volunteering as much as she could. She even went back to volunteer at the high school after she graduated.
She lived for helping others and giving back to the community, but unfortunately her life was cut short a few years ago.
Ashley, a 2010 graduate of Eastern Regional High School, died a few days after her 20th birthday in an ATV accident in June 2012. Her family created the Ashley Paul Memorial Foundation that same year to keep her memory alive and honor her desire to help others.
Its biggest fundraising event of the year is coming up and will celebrate Ashley’s love for sports and Halloween at the second annual “Run for Your Life” 5K on Oct. 29 at the Eastern High School track, located at 1401 Laurel Oak Road in Voorhees.
Paul came up with the idea because of Ashley’s past volunteer experience. She used to volunteer at Psycho Trail, a zombie-themed haunted house in Medford. He said people would show up dressed as zombies.
“I was driving in-between errands, I saw a sign for a Halloween 5K, and the idea of run for your life came to me,” he said. “We literally ran with it.”
And they haven’t looked back. Paul and his family combined running, Halloween and zombies, three of Ashley’s favorite things. Zombie costumes and other costumes are encouraged, but not obligated. Paul said last year some of the most memorable costumes besides zombies were superheroes, and a mother and her daughters dressed as traffic cones. He said this race is for everyone, from serious runners to walkers.
“It’s all about having fun. That’s what Ashley would have wanted,” Paul said.
The foundation’s mission is to foster volunteerism and spread the idea of volunteerism through the community.
Proceeds from the race go toward the foundation, which raises money that will go toward a scholarship it is starting in her name. Paul said the scholarship will be awarded to someone who exemplifies Ashley — having the utmost desire to help others.
Race registration is at 8 a.m. and the run starts at 9 a.m. Pre-registration is $20 and ends on Oct. 27,but if you don’t sign up ahead of time, you can sign up the day of for $25. Call Paul with any questions at (609) 707–4306.