This week, a group of Kingston runners will officially launch the Kevin Dunbar Memorial Scholarship, an athletic-based education fund in honour of the late Kingston runner who passed away last year. Administered by the Kevin Dunbar Memorial Scholarship Committee, the group will look to raise funds for two scholarships valued at $2,500 each, which will be awarded to track and endurance athletes pursuing post-secondary education, beginning this fall.
Named in honour of Kevin Dunbar, a prominent member of Kingston’s running community, the initiative will help secure much-needed funds for local youth athletes, while carrying on the legacy of a man who gave so much to his community. “Kevin made a huge impact in the running community as a mentor, coach, volunteer, and athlete. He was a passionate lawyer who worked tirelessly to help others,” the Kingston Road Runners Association expressed in a statement.
Dunbar was an avid runner and community volunteer. Weeks after competing in his first-ever Boston Marathon, Dunbar passed away due to heart-related issues on June 5, 2022, at 47 years of age.
“The memorial scholarships will be granted to individuals from the Leeds and Grenville, Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington areas,” noted a press release issued by the committee. Each year, the committee will award two separate scholarships: an ‘athletic-based’ scholarship, as well as a ‘community’ scholarship. The ‘athletic-based’ scholarship will be awarded to a new high-school graduate, who has demonstrated “outstanding athletic performance in cross country and/or track running events.” Meanwhile, a ‘community’ scholarship will also be awarded to a high school graduate with a “demonstrated financial need’ for post-secondary education.”
For both scholarships, the successful candidate must be enrolled in post-secondary education, either college or university, beginning in the fall of the funding year. As for how the recipients will be selected, the committee has established a selection sub-committee which will review all applications before nominating two successful individuals. Beginning in 2024, applications will be open until April 30 of each year.
The committee will officially launch the scholarship campaign during this week’s Wednesday Night Hops & Run event at Fine Balance Brewery on June 7, 2023. The event, held in the city’s east end, will provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the scholarships and make a donation if they chose. A second fundraising event will take place on June 17, 2023, during the Trihardz Ride for Dunbar.
Beginning this year, the scholarships will be awarded at the Kingston Road Runners Association (KRRA) Limestone Mile race, which takes place on July 1, 2023 (Canada Day) in downtown Kingston.
“The committee is thrilled to announce the selected inaugural scholarship recipients at the upcoming 2023 Limestone Mile event, held annually on Canada Day. It anticipates strong community participation in the event and encourages generous donation contributions,” KRRA said.
Due to the time constraints of launching the program this year, 2023 scholarship recipients were recommended to the selection committee by Pathways to Education and a representative from the athletics program at Thousand Islands Secondary School (TISS), Dunbar’s alma mater. From 2024 onward, the committee will solicit applications from the community.
For more information, or to make a donation to the scholarships, members of the public are encouraged to visit the Kevin Dunbar Memorial Scholarship page on the KRRA website.