Morgan McDuffee memorial race to benefit violence prevention

The second annual 5-kilometer run/walk honoring the memory of Morgan McDuffee, a Bates College senior slain in 2002, takes place at Bates Saturday, March 6.

Registration for the 2004 Morgan’s 5K Run/Walk begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building, Central Avenue. A 1-mile walk will also take place. Proceeds from the events, including participant pledges, will support Morgan’s Fund for Violence Prevention with the Maine Community Foundation, a program aimed at ameliorating the effects of violence among young people.

McDuffee was slain in the early hours of March 3, 2002. He was a scholar-athlete who earned an A on his senior thesis in macroeconomics. His degree in economics was awarded posthumously to his parents, Regis McDuffee of Newburyport, Mass., and Lisa Freeman of Peterborough, N.H., at the Bates Commencement in 2002.

Captain of the Bates lacrosse team, McDuffee was a star athlete as early as elementary school in Lyndeborough, N.H., where he belonged to the swim team. He went on to captain the lacrosse and football teams at Lexington (Mass.) High School, and spent winters at Killington Mountain Ski School as a junior Olympic ski racer.

“He struck me as one of the most mature, directed and kind young people I have ever met,” lacrosse Coach Peter Lasagna told the Lewiston Sun-Journal a few days after McDuffee died. “He impressed me every day.”

Morgan’s Fund was founded by Suzanna Andrew of Portland, McDuffee’s fiancee. The fund supports national efforts dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence in our culture and to preventing the harmful effects of violence on young children. Morgan’s Fund emphasizes helping children in violent homes overcome the trend of recreating violence in later years.

The fund, says Andrew, “has benefited efforts such as the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence peer leadership programs. CPHV works with schools throughout Maine to address the widespread problems of bullying, teasing and the use of degrading language and slurs.”

Race registration is $18 for the 5K events and $10 for the mile walk; payable in cash or by check; the fee includes a commemorative T-shirt while supplies last. The race-day registration site is the Gray Athletic Building.

For the safety of runners, no headphones, baby carriages or joggers, rollerblades or animals are allowed. The race will be held rain, snow or shine.

With this second annual race, “we hope to strengthen community by building awareness of the problem of violence in our culture, while remembering someone we love,” says Andrew, who is directing the race. “Participants are welcome to walk the course free of charge if they are unable to pay, as long as they sign the release form on race day and come to show support for the cause.”

“Morgan would no doubt win this race and laugh all the way through the finish line,” Lasagna said prior to the first Morgan’s Run, in 2003.

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