Dedicated, determined, hardworking, motivated and passionate are just a few of the words to describe Joshua "Jared" Hardy.
Jared was a 2006 graduate of Fremd High School. He was a dedicated student, but Jared's strongest passion was cross country and track and field. He was All Conference and All Area in both sports. He advanced to state in 2006.
After graduation, Jared attended the University of Illinois at Champaign. He had a double major in finance and accounting with double minors in technology/management and Spanish. He was also invited to join the Illinois Business Consulting Program.
During his time at U of I, he volunteered in his spare time at local humane societies, food banks, blood drives and assembly hall events. He was philanthropy chairman for his fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau; president of Technology and Management; secretary of New Life Volunteering; and team leader of the Illinois Business Consulting Program.
He and a small group of technology/management students represented U of I in Korea in January 2009, competing against other universities and winning with their "green" project. He was preparing to attend a similar event in China in May 2009.
Jared had an uncanny ability to talk to people and was a natural at interacting with individuals of all ages. His personality and smile were infectious. He constantly challenged himself to do better and literally changed the lives of those around him by urging them to reach their full potential, encouraging them along the way. He had a great love for family, friends, children, animals, the sport of running, traveling and life in general. Jared lived his life in a truly inspirational way.
On April 29, at age 21, his big dreams came to a screeching halt when he died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart problem. Jared seemed to be the epitome of good health. His passing left those who had the privilege of knowing him in disbelief and sorrow. He accomplished more in his 21 years than most people do in their entire life. The world is most definitely a lesser place without him.
To honor this amazing young man, family and friends are hosting the "Hoofin' 4 Hardy" 5K run and 2-mile walk on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Birchwood Park, 435 W. Illinois Ave. in Palatine.
Money raised through the event will be allocated by Joshua Jared Hardy Charities, a not-for-profit organization set up in Jared's honor. Funds will benefit the University of Illinois Business School Student Scholarship, a college scholarship for Fremd High and animal shelters.
Registration and check-in takes place 6:30-7:30 a.m., with the walk and run starting at 8 a.m. Preregistration is $25 in advance and $30 day of race.
More information can be found at hoofin4hardy.org, and online registration is at signmeup.com.
Donations and sponsorships are also being sought.