OCEANPORT: On April 27, 2006 a young girl, Kortney Rose Gillette who was in Third Grade in Wolf Hill Elementary in Oceanport, lost her life to a pediatric brain tumor at age 12, an affliction that was rare and neither treatable nor curable,
Kortney was remembered in the annual 2-Mile Race Run/Walk in Oceanport, her birthplace and home, hosted at Monmouth Park raceway on Sunday, Aug. 6.
Hundreds of athletes, youngsters and adults gathered for the event itself and the ceremony before that brought to memory, a life filled with joy, love, companionship and caring for others. Kortney Rose was a friend to all with an unyielding zest for the world she loved being a part of.
Her Mom, Kristin welcomed the large crowd with thanks for their contribution to the Kortney Rose Foundation dedicated to finding a remedy for the affliction that took her away. In her memory research has moved forward, as has contributions to the most caring hospital in Philadelphia that gave her comfort until that last day,
The special remembrance was begun with tributes to Kortney: recognition of the design of the event's shirt by Philip Quatrochi, the pledge to the flag by Kennedy Poset and the National Anthem by Brett Roysdon from Franklinville, quite a distance from Oceanport,
The race route was 2 miles. The Blue Knights motorcycle club led the runners from the park entrance and guiding the length of the course, back to the park side entrance where the Finish Line was waiting enfolded in a bright, inflated tunnel where cheering spectators applauded loudly. For the under age 12 athletes a medal of appreciation was awarded, with age bracketed awards to follow for winners, male and female.
Brendan Kirchner was first among the men runners with a fine 5:14 MPH pace. Cate Desousa was the first woman to finish at a super 6:26 pace. The hundreds who followed, runners and walkers held the family and friend's watchers in smiles as their favorites crossed the line.
Food awaited the crowd and it was time to listen to the band and to celebrate Kortney.