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The Freedom Run: BHS Hosts a 5k Run in Commemoration of James Foley

Lily Mathieu, Staff Writer

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On Nov. 19, nearly ninety runners and walkers gathered at Barnstable High School’s cross country course for an uplifting 5k fundraiser. Nauset High School student Sarah Foley and Barnstable High School’s Emma Garrity were the primary organizers for the charity event called the “Freedom Run.” The two juniors raised $5,000 for the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, an organization in memory of Foley’s second cousin, James W. Foley, an American freelance journalist that was killed in Syria.

Organizing this event has been an aspiration for Garrity and Foley since James Foley’s death in 2014. As they soon will be graduating from high school, Garrity felt that “this was the year to do it.” Foley and Garrity have been planning this run/walk since August, but felt that November was the most convenient time to hold the event. The annual official event is held in James Foley’s hometown of Rochester, New Hampshire on October 14th, his birthday. Runs that are separate from the event in Rochester—for people that cannot make it to the official event—are called “virtual runs.” These “virtual runs” are held all over the world even in London, England; they can be as small as one person running or walking a 5k in honor of James Foley.

Fortunately for Garrity and Foley, their “virtual run” had many more participants than just one. Foley proud of the turnout said, “I didn’t think anyone was going to show up.” The ninety runners and walkers created a “great atmosphere” that was undeniably fun for everyone.

Garrity and Foley were glad to have created such a fun day for the participants, but most of all were grateful for their chance to see James W. Foley’s living legacy inspire their community.

James Foley’s legacy continues to promote freedom of speech, press, and to basic human rights. Sarah Foley said that the purposes of the James W. Foley foundation include “reforming American hostage policy in D.C., funding classes to teach safety to journalists working in regions of conflict, and educating less fortunate children in America.”

Although the local fundraiser has already taken place, Garrity and Foley still encourage donations to be made to the foundation throughout the year. As is planned, there will be a second “Freedom Run” held next year, hopefully with even more participants from every corner of Cape Cod.


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The Freedom Run: BHS Hosts a 5k Run in Commemoration of James Foley