CEDAR RAPIDS — Jon Cushing loved kids.
So, it’s fitting that a group of fifth-graders at Truman Elementary School in Cedar Rapids carves out a day each year to honor his legacy.
The seventh annual Jon Cushing Relay for Life 5k took place Friday with 58 kids from the school, 441 W. Post Rd. NW, making the trek to Veterans Memorial Stadium, home of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, at 950 Rockford Rd. SW.
Under the theme “BeUnbelievable,” the event aimed to honor Cushing, a former Cedar Rapids businessman and community volunteer, by paying tribute to four of the pillars in his life: Family, community, running and baseball, said Lisa Shaver, physical education teacher at Truman who was Cushing’s friend and organizes the annual event.
“This is to honor him and celebrate his life,” said Shaver. “We don’t raise money, but the kids do service projects throughout the year in his honor. The kids didn’t know Jon, so this is a way they can learn about him and continue his legacy.”
Aside from the 5-kilometer run/walk, Friday’s activities also included whiffle ball games at the stadium and limousine rides for the kids. Members of the Cedar Rapids Community School District, Cedar Rapids Police Department and local Rotary Clubs also took part in the event.
Cushing was co-owner of Tektivity Inc., which managed computer network applications and telecommunications services for businesses in the region and across the state. The company, founded in 1999 by Cushing and Doug Flugum, was sold to Carrier Access of Des Moines in 2014.
An avid runner, Cushing suffered a fatal heart attack while jogging in San Diego on July 4, 2011. He was there with his wife Kim assisting their daughter Melissa with a move.
Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
He was 56.
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Cushing, who also is survived by a son, Ben, was active in a number of community organizations. He was a member and past president of the Daybreak Rotary Club, a member of the board of directors for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Foundation and a graduate of the Leadership for Five Seasons program. His volunteer endeavors were extensive, including serving as a lunch buddy for several years at Polk Elementary School.
Kim Cushing said the annual event at Truman Elementary is an incredible tribute to her husband.
“It’s huge,” she said Friday, outside Veterans Memorial Stadium. “Lisa does this every year and Jon would be thrilled to no end. He loved being with the kids. Anything he could do for them, he did it.”
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