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Memorial race canceled a second time at Buchtel

A memorial foot race scheduled for Friday at Buchtel High School honoring late alumnus Sammie Grant has been canceled.

Members of Grant’s Buchtel High School graduating class of 1963 organized the race as a tribute to the young man who dealt with a mountain of obstacles in his life. It was supposed to occur just before Thanksgiving but was canceled then because of weather.

Classmate and race organizer John Lund and company — adopters of Grant’s never-give-up philosophy — plan to reschedule.

Grant was legendary for putting his running abilities on display during the school’s annual “Turkey Day” run leading up to Thanksgiving break. He won a free turkey two years in a row.

Grant’s right leg was amputated because of cancer a month before graduation. He enrolled the following year at the University of Akron. A few days before classes began, a fire broke out at the house near campus where Grant, an aspiring engineer, had rented an attic apartment.

Blinded by the smoke, he jumped to his death trying to escape.

— Jewell Cardwell


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