After losing their 4-year-old daughter Abby in a swimming incident in 2016, the Ruby family created a scholarship to honor their late daughter.
This year, the first Abby Ruby Memorial 5k race/walk will be held Aug. 26 to raise funds to grow the scholarship and assist students in both the Minford and South Webster Districts.
Both Abby’s parents serve as educators in the Minford Local School District. Her father, Jesse is the high school history teacher and Kristin serves as both the middle school Assistant Principal and athletic director for the district. Abby also has two siblings, a sister, Alyssa and brother Asa.
Abby attended Bloom-Vernon/South Webster preschool at the time of her passing and was a pee-wee soccer player for Minford. While she may have been small, she left a large impact on all those who encountered her. Many in the community remember her bright smile and bubbly attitude.
“When Abby passed, the whole community just surrounded us with love,” said Abby’s grandmother, Sue Barnett. “We really can’t explain how grateful we are. They lifted us up with their prayers, they stopped in to check on us, called us, sent us messages. They’ve supported us by making donations to the scholarship fund and it’s hard to pinpoint certain things because it seems like everyone’s presence was just there. To this day, they’re still there. They ask us how we’re doing and if there’s anything they can do for us. The community support has just been amazing.”
The family hopes to grow the scholarships from $500 awards to $1,000 awards and will continue the scholarship until Abby’s class reaches their graduation date.
The race will be held Aug. 26, with registration starting at 8 a.m. at South Webster Elementary, 10529 Main St. A in South Webster. The race will kick-off at 9 a.m. Registration is $20.
“The course will start at the school and will be a road race up,” said track coach Tim Conley. “We’re going to have volunteers along the course, manning water stations and directing traffic. We just hope to have a good time and honor a little girl who brought so much joy to so many people.”
Donations to the scholarship fund can also be made through the Scioto Foundation located at 303 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, or at firstname.lastname@example.org