**More than $2,800 in additional funds have been raised, bringing the combined total of donations past the $7,000 mark! This surpasses Joe's goal of $5,000, but let's keep going. Donate today! Thank you to everyone for their generous contributions.**
On Friday, March 28, through Saturday, March 29, retired member of the U.S. Army Brass Quintet and Adjunct Associate Professor of Music/French Horn Joe Lovinsky successfuly ran 100 miles in 31 hours around the Shenandoah University track and through Winchester to raise scholarships to help Shenandoah Conservatory French horn students.
As the son of Haitian immigrants, Joe grew up in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods. Through the encouragement of his eighth-grade music teacher, he signed up for band. He immediately fell in love with the French horn and classical music. That passion became the central driving force in his life, leading him to the Juilliard School in New York. However, every day was a struggle financially. While between apartments and waiting for a student loan check to come in, he dodged security guards to sleep under a piano in one of the practice rooms. Occasionally, he slept just blocks away from Times Square in Bryant Park.
After running in several ultramarathons, Joe decided to take on the challenge of a 100-mile ultramarathon. Remembering the financial struggles he experienced as a student, he knew he wanted his 100-mile run to reflect his life’s passions: the French horn and his conservatory students.
“I thought, ‘if I’m going to put in all this work, all this effort and beat up my body this much, then I really should do it for a cause,’” said Lovinsky. “I love the horn, I love horn students, and I have a real feeling for those who are struggling financially. I know Shenandoah does all it can to assist students with scholarships and financial aid, but I just thought if I could do something to help even more, then why not do it while I’m accomplishing my 100-miler? This could be the difference between someone actually graduating and getting a degree or never getting their degree.”