The family of a young boy whose life was cut tragically short during an automobile accident in 2009 is continuing to keep his memory alive, all while working to bring some good for local students in Perry County.
Cameron Hoskins was only 12 years old when he was struck by a car while trying to cross Highway 28 in Chavies near his home. Emergency crews were called out, but for Cameron it was too late.
Hoskins had been a student at Chavies Elementary where he played basketball and ran cross country. According to his grandfather, Winford Smith, he was a sweet, outgoing boy who loved sports.
To honor Cameron’s memory, they decided to host a 5K race every year to raise money for the newly formed Cameron Hoskins Foundation.
“It was my idea that we do this,” Smith said of the race. “He was a good kid. He was a good, Christian boy.”
Now, three years later, out of tragedy some good has been brought to the community in the form of scholarship money for local students at each of the three public high schools in Perry County.
The foundation has also grown beyond what they expected and has been able to give more scholarships than normal. “We initially started out giving one scholarship per school, but the last few years we have been able to give two per school,” said Kim Hoskins, Cameron’s mother.
Along with the race, the foundation also raises funds by hosting raffles and tournaments for fishing and wrestling.
Thanks to the money raised by the foundation, they have been able to give $500 to 16 students over three years in scholarships, but it doesn’t stop there as help is often given to underprivileged students as well.
“If there is a kid in one of those schools that needs some help and it can be proven, they bring that before the foundation board,” said Smith.
The Cameron Hoskins Foundation board is made up of representatives from the schools in Perry County. In total, the board has about 15 members at this time.
Since its inception, the 5K race to benefit the foundation has raised thousands to help out children in Perry County.
“The first year we did the race, (we raised) $6,000 or $7,000,” said Smith. “Then last year it was about $10,000. This year it will probably be, by the time everything is done, $13,000 or $14,000.”
Kim Hoskins attributes this growth to her son’s caring spirit making a mark on people’s lives. “I think that Cameron just left such an impact on people,” she said. “He was only 12 years old. He was just a very considerate, caring, and compassionate child.”
This year the 5K had around 250 runners participate, but many more turned out for the event.
“What happens is people come just for the fellowship,” said Smith. “They parked 469 cars in Chavies.”
This year, as a way to raise even more money, the foundation is selling chances on two week-long vacations, one to Florida and the other to the Great Smokey Mountains.
Smith said they hope to continue the 5K race, but also to continue to see it grow. He added that he wanted to make sure that his grandson is remembered. “Accidents happen, and we can let that die or we can keep it alive,” said Smith. “Personally I chose to keep it alive.”
During the latest Cameron Hoskins 5K, the overall winners were Logan Campbell for the men and Dakota Sheperd for the women. Shawn Caudill and Bobby Mosley came in second and third for the men. Sydnie Hall and Hayley Caudill came in second and third for the women.