Sean Joyce’s Memory Lives on During Annual 5k Race

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Amy Yip

Daniel Joyce and Peter Harrinton

Amy Yip and Madison Burnett

The Sean Joyce Foundation recently held their fifth annual 5k race! This race is a Holbrook tradition, it’s aimed towards people of all ages, whether you’re 8 or even 67! 

For this year, the first male finisher was Thomas Hoff, with a whopping time of 18:55. While the first female finisher was Stacy Cooper, with a time of 22:32. 

This run is dedicated to a Holbrook teenager by the name of Sean Joyce, who unfortunately passed away in the summer of 2004 due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). EEE is caused by a mosquito bite, which Sean Joyce’s mother states that “it could happen to anybody.” Even if his passing was 18 years ago, Sean’s legacy still lives on with the baseball/soccer field next to Sumner Field in Sean’s name, as well as giving over $100,000 in scholarships to students of Holbrook Middle-High School. HMHS has also commemorated their snack shack to Sean. 

Sean’s mother, Debbie Joyce, quotes that Sean “loved to garden, he loved life, he loved children, he was just a wonderful kid.” She also has many fond memories of Sean playing a variety of sports like hockey and baseball. 

Ryan Joyce, Sean’s younger brother and yearly participant in the 5k, states that Sean was a “great brother”. He recalls the two of them playing sports together in the side yard, such as golf, football, and soccer. 

Debbie states that they created the Sean Joyce Foundation to “make a positive out of a tragedy.” Their message for the foundation is to not only spread awareness for people to wear their bug spray and long sleeves, but as Debbie and Ryan both quote, “it brings everyone back together.” 

Ms. Gallagher, former teacher of Sean, states that he was a part of her 7th grade writing class during her first year of teaching. She’s been a main contributor to the Sean Joyce Foundation, stating that its importance is “to keep Seanie’s foundation memory alive in Holbrook, it’s kept his memory and spirit alive.” She states that even 20 years later, students of HMHS still know Sean’s name and his legacy. 

Ryan Glass, Sean’s former classmate, says that the race holds a special place in his heart because he was one of the first recipients of the Sean Joyce scholarship, and by doing the race years later gives back to Sean’s family.