AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The community is raising money to create a memorial scholarship for Brittany Szwedko, of Cortland, who was killed after being hit by a car in March.
They are planning a 5K run and dog walk fundraiser for September 17 at Austintown Township Park.
The proceeds will go to Youngstown State, Szwedko’s alma mater.
“It’s going to go there and it’s going to benefit somebody. It’s going to be a Foundation Scholarship that, for years to come, her name will live on and somebody in school, this will help get them through college,” said event organizer Blase Brush.
Szwedko’s mother, Mary Kay, says she loved running and animals, including two dogs her daughter rescued. The fundraising event will bring both of those passions together.
The 27-year-old was jogging on Ridge Road in Fowler Township when Russell Lauer hit her with his vehicle. Police say he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, and did not stop after the accident.
Mary Kay misses her daughter’s spirit and says this will bring something positive out of a very tragic event.
“The perfect way to honor her is to a school that she went to. She had debt up ’til the day she died. Her brother and sister have college debt. I want to be able to help somebody also, and the higher the amount gets, the more we can help.”
The goal is to give out the first scholarship next spring and every year after, worth 4 percent of the money raised.
Organizers would like to collect $25,000 and give out a $1,000 award.