The History of the Race
Our Stampede in the Park was created for two reasons - to stamp out leukemia and to help graduating Running Mustangs race to a brighter future.
Last year we were able to donate $30,000 toward Leukemia research at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. The research focuses on developing more effective therapies for patients with acute leukimia and lymphoma.
The Man Behind the Race
For over 30 years, Joseph Ionta has dedicated his life to helping youth in Plum Borough. As an educator at A.E. O'block Junior High School, he challenged students daily in his advanced mathematics courses. After putting in a full day at the Junior High, he traveled to Plum Senior High School to continue dedicating his time and effort to the students of Plum Borough. Here, he is known as Coach I, the head coach of Plum's Running Mustangs. His commitment is year-round, through weekends and summers, as the coach of cross country, winter track, and spring track. Coach I's devotion goes beyond the sport of running as he becomes a part of his students' lives by caring for them, teaching them life lessons, and being a solid support even after their graduation from Plum.
Recently, Coach I, a man who inspired so many students, has been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He is currently under the care of the Hillman Center. He has taken his challenge and turned it into motivation to aid others. By combining his passion for running and his desire to help, Coach I launched and headed Stampede in the Park.