PHOTOS: Annual Sudell Sprint & Color Run at Western Middle School Spreads Kindness

By Alex Evans, Greenwich High School Class of 2024

The annual Sudell Sprint and Color Run took place at Western Middle School on Friday. The event honors Steven Sudell, a WMS student from the class of 2018 who had battled cancer and was 14 when he passed away in November of 2018.

Paul, Amy and Tyler Sudell and Sarah. Photo: Alex Evans

Photo: Alex Evans

Photo: Alex Evans

Photo: Alex Evans

Photo: Alex Evans

The Sudell Sprint was created as a fundraiser for Steven’s family during his treatment. Due to his commitment to fundraising, the event continues to support childhood cancer organizations and provides a scholarship for Greenwich High School students.

On the day of the event, WMS eighth-graders, wearing white “Sudell Sprint” t-shirts, gathered in the school auditorium for an assembly of various presentations.

This year, the event began with Steven’s best friend and now Greenwich High School graduate, Jack Ryan, returning to WMS to introduce the presentations. It featured mainly students as speakers, with two students reading their original poems, two performing a tribute song, and a short documentary created and directed by Jack about Steven’s life and legacy.

A former WMS student now attending college spoke at the event as a recipient of the scholarship. This scholarship is granted yearly to selected students graduating from Greenwich High School who show a commitment to spreading kindness.

When the presentations concluded, students flocked outside as the school staff prepared the brightly colored dry paint for the color throw. Students crowded together in a heart-shaped cluster before throwing the colors, instantly turning the air into a rainbow cloud and covering everybody—and the white t-shirts—in wild, vibrant hues.

“I’m just honored to be back here,” Jack said as the students ran around the parking lot in bright colors. “It’s a good memorial for Steven.”

Ryan also expressed his gratitude for Steven’s friendship and kindness. “I’ll continue to do this as long as the yearly event continues,” he said.

The Color Run took students towards the Dorothy Hamill ice rink, eventually back down to the WMS parking lot, and through the finish line, an archway made of rainbow-colored balloons.

Steven’s friends and family gathered at the event and joined the sprint.

“This means the world to our family,” his father, Paul Sudell, said about the event, describing continued love and support from the community each year.

With his dedication to positivity and kindness, Steven had a profound impact on the Greenwich community. The recognition of the realities of childhood cancer, as well as remembering and honoring Steven, are both at the heart of the annual event.

The bright, exuberant Color Run is a way for students, teachers, and all to honor Steven’s loss while celebrating his life.