Pacesetter Relay
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Inspirational Pacesetter Relay

While we can't all be together this year for the 45th running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, a few honorary participants will take on the traditional route of the Indy Mini together on May 8th in the form of a relay. These inspirational runners represent a larger demographic of frontline and essential workers who have selflessly given of themselves day after day. Over the past year, their countless hours of work have immensely contributed to the overall safety and health of the state of Indiana and city of Indianapolis.

These frontline heroes will be joined by friends and family of Pat Kennedy, a passionate race fan, a long-time supporter of the 500 Festival, and a regular Mini-Marathon participant, who unfortunately passed away in April 2020 after contracting COVID-19. Kennedy was a past 500 Festival Board Director, a board member of the 500 Festival Foundation, and was part of the 500 Mile Oldtimers Organization. Virtual Indy Mini participants can also find a tribute paying homage to Pat Kennedy on the 2021 #IndyMini shirt and medal.

Learn more about these inspirational heroes below, and join us in thanking them for their dedication and perseverance over the last year.

Donald (Don) Nieten, Senior Director of CSS


As a frontline associate and senior director of corporate support services (CSS) at OneAmerica, Don has been downtown at the OneAmerica CSS facility each and every workday during the entire pandemic, except for scheduled time off. He and his team at CSS were responsible for making changes in the CSS facility and in the OneAmerica Tower to create a safe workplace for all staff, following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

“We worked hard to make certain we had the right environment, with the necessary safety measures and supplies for personal use,” Don explained. “We created numerous redundant operations that allowed for continued operation of our business units within the CSS building and the Tower, including scanning mail and documents, mail centers, and print operations. We continuously evaluated our business continuity plans and partnered with others to expand our capabilities outside Indiana to be prepared for the unknown.”

Don and his staff created rotating schedules to maintain safe backup staffing when necessary.

Don and the on-site leadership team worked hard to keep their CSS associates informed and maintain strong morale with the team throughout the pandemic. “We had a lot of safe, individually wrapped snacks or boxed lunches. Our teams liked that best,” Don laughed.

All these changes and pandemic adaptations were accomplished while meeting or exceeding customers’ needs and expectations, and maintaining service level agreements.

Dr. Oriana Capin, Clinical Assistant Professor

Delta Dental

Dr. Oriana Capin is a clinical assistant professor at Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD). She has been a faculty member at IUSD since 2013 where she provides teaching and instruction in both the classroom and in the clinical setting to pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students.

On March 23, 2020 Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb ordered Hoosiers to stay home unless they were conducting essential business in the hopes of reducing the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Further restrictions were mandated on April 1st, 2020 when he went on to issue an Executive Order on elective and non-urgent medical and dental procedures to preserve PPE for health care providers who were battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to serve Hoosiers with acute oral pain and infection and to keep dental patients from seeking care at local hospital emergency rooms, IUSD administration, faculty, and staff came together to operate the Emergency Clinic in the Fritts Clinical Center at IU School of Dentistry while following a rigorous infection control protocol. During this period, Dr. Capin joined the emergency team to provide emergency services for patients who were under the care of the residents in the Cariology and Operative Dentistry Program before the shutdown. As the only volunteer from her department, Dr. Capin felt very rewarded by helping patients during these very stressful times and by knowing she was also instrumental in helping preserve PPE for healthcare workers on the frontline.

Annie Burford, RT

Franciscan Health

I am a respiratory therapist at Franciscan Health Indianapolis. I am the respiratory clinical specialist on the MPCU (Medical Progressive Care Unit). I have been an RT for 20 years. I love what I do, and I love to help people breathe.

I started to run when I was 14 years old. I ran cross country in high school all four years. I loved it so much. I have recently started to run again. I have a lot of heart disease that runs in my family and I’m striving to be more heart-healthy.

This past year has been extremely difficult working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Running has helped me so much! It has helped me relax, clear my mind, and stay focused on helping these patients.

Evelyn Heffner, ATC

Franciscan Health

I am originally from Fort Wayne, IN, and have been in Indianapolis for the last 3 years. I got my bachelor's degree in athletic training from Ball State University and my master's degree in exercise science from the University of Birmingham, England. Currently, I work as a certified athletic trainer in one of our sports medicine clinics at Franciscan Health.

I grew up playing soccer, but after a couple of knee surgeries, I have become more of a distance runner. I have raced distances from 5K to half marathons, but my favorite is 10K. In the future, I would love to train for a full marathon. I like to spend my free time with friends and family, checking out local breweries, working in my garden, or working on my endless list of house projects.

Dr. Peter Hogg, Orthopedic Surgeon

Franciscan Health

I went to Depauw University for undergrad, Indiana University for medical school, and William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI for orthopedic residency. I am board-certified and have worked at Franciscan with FPN for 7 years since finishing residency. I work as a general orthopedic surgeon with a focus on shoulder replacement and trauma.

I have been married to my wife Laura Benjamin for 11 years. She works as an anesthesiologist. We have two daughters, Anna and Kate.

I started running competitively in 6th grade and have run competitively to some degree since. I competed in track and cross country in middle school, high school, and college. I ran road marathons after college and then transitioned to running trail and ultra races in the last 10 years. I have a road marathon PR of 2:32. I won the 2013 USATF 100mi Trail National Championship in 14:25. I have won the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in Bloomington, IN three times. I have run the fastest known time for running the 42mi Tecumseh trail (6:47 – this time has been bettered since) and 50mi Knobstone trail (9:15) in southern Indiana.

Robert Malinzak, MD

Franciscan Health

Robert Malinzak, MD, is a joint replacement surgeon with the Franciscan Health Center for Hip and knee surgery in Mooresville, Indiana.

Running and any sort of exercise has been a lifelong enjoyment of mine. Playing Division I NCAA Soccer for Davidson College and playing in the Final Four was a tremendously exciting time. Our fitness was one of the main reasons for our success. In the years that have followed, my wife, Dr. Sandy Moreira, and I have found running to be a wonderful way to spend time together and a way to maintain our health. We often will spend 2 to 3 hours together at least once a week running 10 to 20 miles.

Upon arriving in Indiana in 2004, we trained for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and have run the event every year since. Our son, Jake, has run the Mini a couple of times as well, so it’s truly a fun family outing.

I find running a terrific way to clear the mental clutter. I often end a long run with a much clearer frame of mind and feel invigorated to tackle the challenges of the day.

While the pace may be slowing as we age, the enjoyment remains the same. I enjoy seeing other folks find their enjoyment from gaining positive improvements while out on a run.

Shane Myint, RN

Franciscan Health

Shane Myint is a registered nurse with over 13 years of experience. He has spent the last eight years working in the Emergency Department at Franciscan Health.

We have been through a lot during this pandemic, and we are at the tip of the spear with the COVID-19 battle. I am so proud of our emergency department nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, radiology technicians, and other medical professionals throughout Franciscan Alliance.

My passion for running started to simply get in better physical shape, but it quickly became an obsession. This past April, I completed my first full marathon and I look forward to competing in more races in the future. My new passion also led me to organizing a running group at work to help people train for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I am honored to be representing Franciscan Health. Thank you for the opportunity to run in place of others who are not able to.

Dr. Catherine Reese, MD

Franciscan Health

Dr. Reese is a primary care sports medicine physician with Franciscan Health. She played field hockey in her youth and in college, but didn’t get into running until after her second baby. She has always been interested in helping athletes and runners reach their full potential and rebound from injury. She was motivated to start running to improve her fitness – and also to spend time with her dog!

Kara Solomon, Disaster Management Coordinator

Franciscan Health

Kara is a part of the Safety Department and is the only full-time disaster manager within all Franciscan Alliance. Kara has over 25 years of experience in public health and emergency preparedness and over 10 service years in the United States Army, Medical Service Corps. Locally, she has worked closely with MESH Coalition, Indiana Department of Health, American Red Cross, and various other partners within the greater healthcare community.

With an MS from the University of Indianapolis in strategic leadership and design, a BS in Health promotion education with an emphasis in both community health and fitness physiology, and countless FEMA certifications, Kara coordinates activities of three Franciscan Emergency Management Committees (Carmel, Indianapolis, and Mooresville) and supports various others at the county, district, and state levels. Kara specializes in exercise development, implementation, and policy/procedure/plan refinement as a result of evaluation. She runs the Emergency Management Cycle. Kara has also completed several OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathons and proudly runs today in honor of all front-line workers

Pat Kennedy's Friends & Family

Cheryl Kennedy- Pat’s wife and reigns from Indianapolis, IN.

"My favorite memory of Pat concerning the Mini: Pat would go over his mile per mile splits with me and how he felt at each mile. We would look at the map. He trained in earnest every year and looked forward to getting in shape for the Mini! We would also look at the racecourse map while going over the mile splits."

Jim Kennedy- Pat’s son. He is from Indianapolis, IN.

"I will always remember dad’s generosity, character, work ethic, and consistency as a father, mentor, friend, and legend in the Indianapolis racing community. One of my favorite racing memories was when he would take us to qualifying and practices as kids and we would time each lap and compete to get closest to the actual time. He would then take us go-carting where we would compete with him and at times, get thrown out due to bumping and very aggressive driving."

Anna Grace Kennedy- Married to Jim Kennedy and from Indianapolis, IN.

"Pat’s void is constant but is felt especially during the month of May. Prior to meeting my husband Jimmy, I didn’t quite realize the extent of the 500-related festivities during the month of May, but after my first May with the Kennedys, I felt like a lifer. Pat brought such a happy energy to all things 500 or IMS-related and it was truly infectious. I’ll always remember him with the big radio headphones on, binoculars, trivia book, and a Miller Light in hand...he was truly in his element when he was at IMS. Although I only got to experience two “month of May’s with Pat, I know that I will forever associate the 500 with him and that he will be with us in spirit every year as we celebrate his “Christmas,” the Greatest Spectacle in Racing!"

Maura Kennedy- Only Daughter/oldest child of Pat & Cheryl Kennedy. Born in Indianapolis.

"Dad lived life to the fullest. He wasn’t just our Dad, he was our friend. We spent the years going to sporting events and traveling as a family. Our dad brought people together often generously providing friends with tickets to the top sporting events. He was at the center of our lives and created a sports and family-centered lifestyle that lives on in his children."

Bill Kennedy- Bill is Pat’s son. He is from Indianapolis, IN.

"Dad treated all people with love, kindness, and total respect."

Patrick Kennedy- Pat’s son and from Indianapolis, IN.

"Pat will always remember the generosity and love dad showed to all family members, friends, and strangers with who he was able to spend time with."

Ellen Kennedy- Daughter-in-law. She is from Indianapolis, IN.

"Pat’s kindness to others, no matter who you are, will forever be inspirational to me."

Kate Kennedy- Granddaughter. She is from Indianapolis, IN.

”Pops gave the best piggyback rides and I miss him and I love him”

Joey Gaines- Joey is Pat’s son and from Indianapolis, IN. "

2019 Dirt Track Race at the Speedway, we went together for the races. I enjoyed the experience of dirt flying around the stands while we were drinking cold Coors lights. It was racing Heaven."

Ann Bolin- Sister to Pat and from Indianapolis, IN.

"One of my best memories of race day with Pat is in 2016 which was the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Pat called me at 11:30 p.m. the night before the big day. His voice was filled with excitement because he had been asked to get the Kennedy Tank Special to the track ASAP so it could participate in the race day festivities. Sam Hornish, the winner of the 2006 Indy 500, was to drive it with several other vintage cars. He laughingly said he was sorry that he wouldn't be there for the traditional race day morning family event handing out over 50 tickets and packing cars, but he had something better to do. He headed out to the track at midnight and never slept a wink for the 100-year race. It was the best gift ever!"

Paul Bolin- Brother-in-law and from Carmel, IN.

"I will always remember how excited Pat would get for the Indy 500 and Notre Dame football. Every year in May and the fall, he would focus his full attention on the 500 and his beloved Irish. He was the perfect host, organizer, and fan. I always appreciated his enthusiasm for sporting events, especially when they dropped the green flag at the start of every 500. I can’t imagine anyone loving motorsports more than Pat Kennedy or being more loyal to their alma mater’s gridiron team."

Courtney Bolin- She is Pat’s Niece. She is from Carmel, IN.

"I have always looked up to Uncle Pat in a multitude of ways, especially, the way he treated others. He displayed immense generosity, kindness, and treated everyone with the utmost respect EVERY SINGLE DAY. I hope I can continue to carry on his legacy."

Kevin Bolin- He is Pat’s nephew and is from Carmel, IN.

"One of the things I will always remember about Uncle Pat is his love for the Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He felt “at home” when he was at the track and was so happy there. He also loved sharing his passion and love of the race and speedway with others. This has made a lasting impression on all who came into contact with him. His legacy lives on in many ways, but one that our entire family shares are a passion and love for the race and the track that he cherished his entire life."

Brian Bolin- He is Pat’s nephew and from Carmel, IN.

"My favorite memories with Uncle Pat were college football Saturdays in South Bend and after each Indianapolis 500. I would always find him to ask what he thought about the race and to hear his thoughts. He was so excited to talk about and relive each moment of every race."

Jenny Walesa- Jenny is from Chicago, IL, and is dating Brian Bolin.

"Pat was always made me feel involved and part of the family but I do always remember him doing abs and stretching at Wawasee and most recently cheering me and court on when we had the putt-putt tournament and how excited he got each shot we made. It’s hard to pinpoint a memory when he was always a good time to be around."

Thom Fairchild-Thom is from Indianapolis, IN, and is a brother-in-law to Pat Kennedy.

"I am honored to be able to respond for this year’s Virtual Mini in his honor and name. Pat was a devoted 500 Festival Director and a lifelong devotee to the 500 Mile Race. No one could approach his knowledge and passion of 16th and Georgetown. I was blessed to become a member of his family by marrying his Irish Twin sister, Kathy. We honor his memory and service to the Indy 500 family of events today at the Virtual Mini. He not only worked the event but trained numerous years as a participant, always beating me by at least 45 minutes! No doubt, he is running for all of us in Heaven today. Love you, Pat."

Kathy Fairchild- Kathy Kennedy Fairchild is from Indianapolis, IN, and is Pat's older sister.

"I am Pat’s older sister, one year older to the day, making us “Irish Twins.” Pat and I went to our first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1963. I “liked it” but that is when Pat’s PASSION for Indy Car started. It had been a special event for our family for decades. Our father and grandfather sponsored cars even back in the 1940s, and Kennedy Companies owns one of the original Kennedy Tank Special cars that is proudly displayed and runs at Old Timers Day. We will always miss Pat making those historic laps in the Kennedy car. It is hard to pick special memories from all of our years at the Speedway, but I specifically cherish the years that Pat would call to make sure that we were “UP” and were going to make it on time to the police escorted caravan to the track after being up “wee hours” the night before. The enthusiasm in his voice was unmatched during the month of May. During the Race, everyone wanted to sit next to Pat, because you would get a continuous commentary on the race events, lead changes, and pit stops. Memories abound and the day remains special FOREVER!"

Kyle Fairchild- Kyle is Pat’s nephew and from Indianapolis, IN.

"Pat's passion for driving the Kennedy Tank Special on track, the 500 overall and 500 Festival is a vivid memory, especially in May. More specifically, I remember the first few years he had a pace car for the month as a Festival Director all the kids in the extended family would take turns getting to go on a ride around the block! Then, we would always be eager to figure out who he was driving in the parade."

Anna Barnard- Pat was her fiancé's uncle and is from Indianapolis, IN.

"From the first time I met Pat, he was nothing but welcoming. He made me immediately feel like I was a part of their family. Pat's energy was contagious and his spirit will continue to live on in the Kennedy family."

Kim Fairchild Rumer- Pat’s niece from Indianapolis, IN.

"Uncle Pat was one of the very first people at the hospital after all four of my son’s births. It didn’t matter what he had going on that day, he was there. It meant so much to me. That was Pat- always putting family first."

Justin Rumer- Married to Pat’s niece (Kim Rumer).

"I've admired Pat’s ability to be a top-of-the-line businessman while also staying in line with his core values. He took the time to know his employees and it was one of the many things that were impressive and admirable about Pat."

Mark T. Watson- Lifelong best friend and from Indianapolis, IN.

"Pat Kennedy was so generous on many levels yet he would never bring attention to that. This was handed down from Grandpa and Grandma Kennedy and Bill and Fran Kennedy, Pat's grandparents and parents. As one of his closest friends, I would observe how he treated everyone with so much kindness as if they were the most important person in the room. This included folks from all walks of life and it left a huge impact on how I live my own. The lessons I have learned from Pat I instill in my own children and that is the true meaning of The Kennedy Legacy."

Jim Stark- Jim is best friends with Pat and from Indianapolis, IN.

"He was always there for me! Good times and bad. Best man at my weddings. Twice!"

John Ramsey- John was great friends with Pat and is from Lafayette, IN.

"The memory I would share of Pat –and one that I’ll carry with me –was his smile. I have always admired people whose default is a smile. And particularly people who smile when they talk. It’s a gorgeous thing to be in such a conversation. I can't remember being with Pat and he wasn’t smiling. It was a smile that warmed those around him and a joy to be in its presence. It was a smile that he shared with many- most directly with his children who reflect every day."

Jerry Ramsey- Jerri was great friends with Pat and is from Indianapolis, IN.

"A wonderful memory of Pat that I have was actually a week before he got sick with COVID. He had attended his granddaughter Kate and great-nephew George’s (both 5 years old) basketball game at First Baptist. Of course, I thought it was all funny and darling - 10 little 5 years old's running back and forth - each wanting to shoot the ball. During the game, Pat told his sister Kathy (George’s Tottie) what George was doing wrong when he shot the ball - after the game Pat went out on the court with George and worked with him on his shot. George still remembers his Uncle Pat teaching him how to throw the ball up to make a basket - and by the way - George is pretty much a star now out on the basketball court. Fun to think how many kids in Pat’s life have stories like this if they think about it. What I am pretty sure about this memory is that everyone who knew Pat has a story of him taking the time to help someone - to teach someone - or to just be kind to someone. Pat Kennedy, you are missed."

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