Sara Sherman is inviting others to help keep alive the legacy of her late daughter, Capital University student Alexandria "Alex" Goodwin, by lacing up their shoes for a 5K event.
The first Alexandria Leigh Goodwin Angel Foundation 5K will be held in Goodwin's memory at 8 a.m. March 18 at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.
Participants will raise money for the ALGA Foundation, which Sherman founded after her daughter's sudden death May 5, 2016, at the age of 20 from undetermined natural causes.
"She was very vibrant. She was always up for an adventure," Sherman said. "She was insanely talented and she did tons of stuff."
Goodwin loved to sing and was involved in musical theater in high school and college, Sherman said.
Goodwin was a public relations major at Capital and was involved in many campus activities. She was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, executive director of the university's Activity Management and Programming, and a team leader in charge of planning and implementing summer orientation and Welcome Weekend 2016.
Proceeds from the 5K will fund scholarships that the foundation will provide at Capital, where Goodwin had just completed her sophomore year, and Groveport Madison High School, where she had graduated in 2014.
The foundation also promotes "random acts of kindness," something Goodwin was known for, Sherman said.
"Her name means 'helper,' and she lived up to that," she said. "She didn't really talk about all the things she did -- she just helped the person that was in front of her and was happy and jolly and went about her way."
In a tribute to Goodwin that Capital posted on its website following her death, classmates, professors and administrators described her as an outgoing young woman who had a knack for sensing when someone was going through hard times and needed a kind word.
"She never forgot a thing," Alora Conner, Goodwin's sorority sister, said in Capital's tribute. "We were two years apart, and we had different things going on in our lives. But I'd see her, and she'd ask me how things worked out with a test I'd been worried about, or a bout with depression I'd been dealing with. If I was having a bad day, she'd know and she'd greet me with, 'Hello, beautiful!' She remembered the personal things, and you knew things were important to her. She went out of her way to make people know they were loved -- and to know their worth."
Sherman, a self-employed consultant who lives on Columbus' east side near Bexley, said she has been moved by the support the Capital community has offered.
She said Goodwin's brother, Josh Sherman, and sister, Elise Goodwin, will receive an honorary diploma from Capital on Goodwin's behalf at the university's May commencement, which is when Goodwin was scheduled to graduate.
Goodwin also is survived by her father, Edward Goodwin.
"The Capital family has been amazing," Sherman said.
Several Capital students are volunteering for the ALGA Foundation 5K, Sherman said.
Registration is $30. Race participants will not only receive T-shirts, official finisher's medals and treat bags, but also "Random Act of Kindness" cards to share. The cards, available at the foundation's website, thealga.org, encourage people to record their good deeds and pass them on to inspire others.
"Particularly where we are in the world right now, I thought it would be fun for people to understand how far their kindness has gone," Sherman said.
"I want to encourage people that, first of all, there are so many people who are hurting and they have value. Even though it's such a small thing that you've done for someone, it travels," she said.
For registration and more information about the ALGA Foundation 5K, visit racepenguin.com/events/alga5k. Those interested in sponsoring the race can contact Sherman at 614-432-2717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.