Brad Richards passed away on Jan. 20, 2002 of a brain tumor. He was 48 years old.
Leaving behind three wonderful daughters, a wife, a mother, two sisters, a brother, thousands of friends, players, pupils, coaches and teammates, Brad Richards was a rare breed of pure sports spirit who carried over lessons of the games he loved to everyday life in ways beautiful and unique.
Brad was a standout hockey player, and stud-runner at Princeton University. After playing professional hockey in Europe, Brad went on to achieve life's ultimate successes, becoming a well-known hockey coach and family man in Montclair, NJ.
Operated mainly by his youngest daughter, Faith, a standout runner and Rutgers lacrosse alum, The Bradley A. Richards Scholarship Fund has been helping college-bound Montclair High School student-athletes reach the next level of their game since 2002. With a scholarship worth about $5,000 given out to a single student annually, the fund has grown more and more popular every year.
Five years back the foundation acted on the idea to turn the scholarship into a 5-K fund-run, and it's been attracting smiles, orange slices, water bottles, and racers to Anderson Park once a year ever since.
With no plans of slowing down.
"As a family, we felt that being able to recognize a scholar student-athlete for their hard work, in my father's name, was the best way to carry on his legacy! We're thrilled that we are able to keep the scholarship going year after year, due to the generosity of so many people," Faith said.
Faith on how the scholarship works, "In general, we have a panel of four people that interview the candidates every year. Sometimes they're such awesome kids that we have a tie (like this year). The scholarship is usually $5,000 and the student must have 'plans' to play in college. This means that they don't have to be signed, they can play DI or DIII, etc."
This year's recipients are Matt Stith, who will be attending Syracuse to play soccer, and Amy Bianco, who's headed to Franklin and Marshall to grace the field hockey pitch.
Also worth noting, the foundation has introduced a raffle aspect to the fundraiser, which is happening tonight at Upstairs in Upper Montclair from 8:30 till 10 p.m.
The race is being held at tomorrow morning at Anderson Park at 9:00 a.m., so if you're in the Montclair area, make sure to go out and support the Brad. A. Richards Fund Run!