Jill Farrar-Mattice had grown up in the Cleveland Hill community. Her parents, Karen and Jeff, and brother, Nate, had been brought up in the community and attended the Cleveland Hill School District. The Farrars still live in the Cleve-Hill community.
Farrar-Mattice graduated from Cleve-Hill High School in 1996. She was a three-sport athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and softball. Following her graduation, she went to SUNY Brockport. Farrar-Mattice had always wanted to be in law enforcement. Her dream became a reality when she began her career with the New York State Police. There, she stayed for six and a half years.
Farrar-Mattice’s career was cut short Jan. 20, 2010 when her patrol car met a tractor trailer on Route 23 in Otsego County. Farrar-Mattice was leaving the school she was assigned to as a school resource officer. She was the first female New York State Trooper to perish while on the job.
In memory of Farrar-Mattice the Cleveland Hill District and the Farrar family, along with a committee, will be holding the second annual Jill Mattice (Farrar) Memorial 5K Run/Pump and Run/Fun Walk Saturday, Sept. 24. Registration will be taken from 10 to 10:30 a.m. and the run and walk will commence at 11 a.m. at Cleveland Hill High School, 105 Mapleview Drive.
The run will be 3.5 miles long and the walk, on a separate path, will be two miles.
Proceeds from the event will benefit both the Jill Mattice Scholarship Fund at Cleveland Hill High School and her family church, Buffalo Covenant Church, for their outreach program.
Jill Sherman, principal at Cleveland Hill High School, was approached by Karen and Jeff to present a female senior who was bound for the criminal justice field.
“On top of wanting to start a scholarship the Farrars also wanted to know if the district would support hosting the race at the school as their biggest desire was to make this a community event at Cleveland Hill,” said Sherman. “The board wants Cleve-Hill to be the hub of this community so it’s great the event is being held at the school.”
Last year, Veronica Sanchez was the first $1,000 scholarship winner courtesy of the Jill Mattice Scholarship Fund. Currently, she is attending Buffalo State College majoring in criminal justice.
The Farrars hand picked Sanchez and interviewed her.
“Veronica got to sit down with the Farrars and talk with them about Jill and they helped Veronica understand why they were doing this scholarship and how important it was for Jill to be doing this,” said Sherman.
The race will include demonstrations by New York State Troopers, food, and depending on the weather, attendees will get to see a New York State Police Helicopter.
There will also be a basket raffle, awards, and live music. Individuals and their families not wanting to run or walk can still attend the event to take part in the demonstrations and festivities.
“Jill was an individual whom we all loved dearly,” said Maj. Kevin Molinari, the Troop C commander. “She treated everyone she came into contact with with dignity, kindness, compassion and respect.”
“Her family just wants people to know and understand who she was as a police officer and a person,” said Sherman. “It will be a great community event. In an article written in a Trooper magazine, it said that Jill was trustworthy, loyal, a good friend and that she was the officer she needed to be at any given time depending on the situation.”
Registration is $25 and includes a T-shirt and bracelet for individuals pre-registered, or on a first come first serve basis the day of the event. For more information, visit www.jillfarrarmatticebufalo5k.com.
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