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Run for Mercy Is Back to Benefit a Vanguard Alumni’s Family

Written By: Erica Nichols Run for Mercy
Photography Provided By: Vanguard University  Run for Mercy

Tie up those laces and take your place at the starting line, it’s time to run for a cause at Vanguard University’s Run for Mercy. On October 6, the annual event will kickoff a two-mile color run at Vanguard University’s campus in Costa Mesa to honor the life and memory of Jared Mandville, Vanguard University’s basketball coach from 2002-2003.

“Our family being chosen [as beneficiary] this year is an incredible honor,” said Dawn Mandville, Jared’s wife and Vanguard alumna. “We feel loved and supported by so many people, and we are so grateful.”

The popular community run first began six year ago as a way for the University to raise money for alumni families enduring significant health struggles or coping with a loss. Each year, Vanguard selects a family to be the beneficiary of the event, and over the years, Run for Mercy has become an incredible opportunity for the community to rally—and run—to support one of their own. In past years, beneficiaries have been alumni families with incurable health conditions and surviving families of lost loved ones, like Dawn and her two children, Kasen and Emma.

The Mandvilles have been involved with the run since it first started in 2012. “My husband participated in the run in the past,” said Dawn. The couple, both alumnis, met at Vanguard, where Jared later coached basketball. But it wasn’t until Jared sadly lost his battle to an aggressive stage-four lung cancer in 2015 that the Mandvilles and Vanguard reconnected.

“Vanguard holds a special place in my heart,” said Dawn. “Even after almost 20 years, this community is coming beside me, showing their love and support. It’s so incredible.”

What makes Vanguard so special is events like Run for Mercy, where there is no motive other than to support those in need who’ve also called Vanguard home at some point. Each year, Run for Mercy grows in size as hundreds of runners, walkers and sideline supporters come together for a great cause.

Registration is $25 ($10 for students under 18 years old) and begins at 10 a.m. at the campus. The walk/run is a two-mile stretch of fun as you race through clouds of vibrant color, so grab your friends and meet at the starting line. Open to the public, the Run for Mercy is suitable for all ages, all fitness levels and everyone looking to support a family honoring their husband and father.

“I’d like people to remember Jared’s passion for life, and for the life of others,” said Dawn. “His life inspires me everyday to get up, keep going and to live everyday to its fullest. Tomorrow is never promised, so we need to live it now.” Run for Mercy

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