Eighth and last Jordan’s Walk

The memorial event will continue next year, just in a different way.


Teresa Randlett

People flocked to last weekend’s event. Photo credit: Teresa Randlett

Teresa Randlett, Assistant Entertainment Editor

For eight years now, the Coffey family and members of the Hollis-Brookline community have been gathering together at Jordan’s Walk, a five kilometer race and entertainment event in memory of Jordan Coffey.

Jordan Coffey, who attended HBMS nearly a decade ago, was the son of Sharon and David Coffey. He passed away from cancer before he could graduate into the high school. The Make-a-Wish Foundation was made aware of Jordan’s situation in 2005, and the organization granted him and his family a trip to Disneyworld, to take a break from the harsh medical procedures involved with his battle.

Jordan’s Walk for Wishes and Dash for Dreams started out as a mere suggestion at Jordan’s memorial service.

His death was devastating to all, but with the attitude Jordan had, the Coffey family and their close friends knew he wouldn’t want people to dwell on his passing. In memory of his big heart, his friends and family decided to put together a family event to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Soon thereafter, Jordan’s Walk became an annual affair.

Ever since, Jordan’s Walk has been a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish to benefit other children in similar situations as Jordan’s. Last year, a grand total of $9,000 was presented to Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire, which funded three children’s Wishes, and over the past eight years, Jordan’s Walk has raised over $100,000.

This year, the event was held on September 27 and was additionally dedicated to the memory of Stephen O’Keefe, Curt Jensen, and Tom Dwyer, all men in the community who have passed away during the past year. Richard Maghakian Memorial School was the main hub of the event, before and after the race. At the school field, the festivities blossomed.

Two tents were designated for food and sitting, and a stage was put up for live entertainment. A bounce house for children was blown up next to an activities tent where kids could get their faces painted, balloon animals made, or fill up a glass with layers of different-colored sands. The Hollis-Brookline Robotics Team 1073 made a special appearance under their own tent, showing off one of their creations.

The fastest runners in individual age categories were awarded medals at the end of the event, wrapping up with an announcement of who won each raffle basket. The raffle baskets consisted of local business gift cards and giveaways, some with specific themes. Many of the baskets were created and donated by Hollis-Brookline Middle School students.

Stephen Capraro, who teaches history at HBMS and had Jordan as a student, has been going to the walk every year, along with a few other middle school teachers.

Capraro knew about 2014 being the last year for Jordan’s Walk and is “sad it’s the last” but is “excited to see what comes next”.

He also said, “I’m glad it is being morphed into another form of fundraiser, but still for Make-A-Wish.”

Olivia Straka, ‘16, was another participant at Jordan’s Walk. “I have been walking at Jordan’s Walk for four years now,” Straka said. “I love the aspect of the community coming together outdoors in the fresh air and making a difference.”

New plans are already in the making for another way to fundraise for Make-A-Wish, along with remembering Jordan, starting next year. The Coffey family already has an idea, moving proceedings to an indoor event with a “tasty twist.”