Cinco De Mayo festivities in Fort Collins will kick off with the fourth annual Gil Gutierrez Cinco-Cinco 5K Run and Walk May 3.
The run begins at 8 a.m. on the Colorado State University Oval, followed by a Children’s Fun Run. The run and walk will raise funds for scholarships in memory of Gil Gutierrez, former Colorado State University ombudsman who was killed by a drunk driver while running in August 1993.
"Gil was dearly loved by his family, colleagues and students, and this event gives us all a chance to celebrate the many things he did for the Colorado State and Fort Collins communities," said Varo Maldonado, assistant director in the Office of Admissions and close friend of Gutierrez.
Gutierrez served as Colorado State’s ombudsman from 1990-93.
"Gil was the most neutral, skilled and effective mediator I ever met," said Rex Kellums, former assistant vice president for student affairs and member of the organizing committee.
Runners and volunteers of all ages are encouraged to participate in the event. The cost for pre-entry is $15 for the general public and $13 for students and seniors. On-site registration is $17 for the general public and $15 for students and seniors. The Children’s Fun Run is free. Entry forms are available at the following locations: Colorado State Lory Student Center, Room 182; Runner’s Roost, 1669 S. College Ave.; Fort Collins Club, 1307 E. Prospect Road; Tran’s Tae-Kwon-Do Academy, 1801 S. College Ave.; Foot of the Rockies, 1205 W. Elizabeth St.; and GOJO Sports, 620 S. College Ave.
During his tenure, Gutierrez was dedicated to providing access to students interested in pursuing a college degree.
"Gil was essential in bringing together Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano students and staff," said Jessica Chavez, a senior psychology major. "He helped open communication lines between several student groups." To honor Gutierrez’ heritage and his passion for running, friends organized the Cinco-Cinco 5K Run and Walk. They also established a memorial scholarship awarded to a first-generation student who demonstrates a history of community service activities and a financial need.
"Gil’s life is celebrated through the Cinco-Cinco event, which was created to honor him as an elite runner and a community-minded person," said Barb Musslewhite, coordinator of the Center for Educational Access and Outreach and the university’s mentoring program.
When Gutierrez was recently honored posthumously at the University and College Ombuds International Conference in Denver, his friend and student protégé, Louie Sanchez, delivered the speech.
"His life was devoted to providing minorities with equal access to higher education, " said Sanchez, who is now a staff member in Colorado State’s ombudsman’s office. "Every day when I enter the office, I am reminded of Gil’s compassion, honesty and loyalty." The Run/Walk is organized by The Friends of Gil Gutierrez Committee in conjunction with Fort Collins Cinco de Mayo festivities. To register for the run or make a donation to the Cinco-Cinco Run or scholarship fund, call Sanchez at (970) 491-7165.
For more information about Cinco de Mayo festivities in Fort Collins, call the Northside Atzlan Center at (970) 221-6655 or (970) 484-2794.