On June 10, join the community in honoring Elisa B. Hughey in a 5K fun run/walk to benefit The Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts.

For those who didn’t know her, the scholarship website, elisahugheyscholarship.com, gives a snapshot of who Elisa was:

“Elisa was a truly amazing woman who loved life and all that it encompassed. She possessed the unique ability to find the beauty in everything she encountered. This modest woman was easy to be around and touched the heart of every person she met. She is remembered for her sense of humor, her generous heart, her love of life and her unparalleled strength. She was a loving, devoted mother and wife who brought grace and style to all that she touched.

“A perpetual learner, ” Elisa held three higher education degrees, a Bachelors from Alfred University, a Masters in Art Education from Buffalo State College, and a Masters in Fine Art from the University of Buffalo.

She worked as a grade school art teacher in her twenties before opening Aardvark, a home décor store, with her husband. She later began her work as an Interior Designer creating unique and whimsical interiors which borrowed from both rustic and contemporary design. A true artist at heart, Elisa has had her work on display at Albright Knox Art Gallery, Luminous Gallery, and Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts, as well as other respected galleries.

Elisa was a life-long athlete and began long distance running to stay healthy and motivated while fighting cancer. She ran her first marathon in 3 hours and 20 minutes, won her age group, and qualified for the Boston Marathon. She raced it the following spring finishing hand in hand with two of her dearest friends. She accomplished this all while battling cancer, once again speaking to her strength and resiliency.

“As an artist, Elisa preferred to be a teacher. She found joy in helping others understand art, not merely technique but the complexity of the art: the emotions, balance, proportions, forms, tones and message. It was more important for her to help others understand an artist than to be an artist herself.

“Elisa loved to surround herself with creative people and beauty. There was nothing more enjoyable to her than exploring a museum or gallery. Decoding what another artist had created and understanding their thoughts and emotions was equally as important to her as her own creative process. She found great beauty in all types of work as long as the artist conveyed something from the heart.

“The Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts honors a woman who remains an inspiration to many and will be deeply missed but never forgotten by her community and her loved ones.”

Two $500 scholarships are available for graduating seniors from West Valley Central School and Ellicottville Central School—to be awarded to one student from each school—in Elisa B. Hughey’s memory. Elisa was an accomplished artist with both a Masters in Art Education from Buffalo State University and a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Buffalo. She appreciated all aspects of the arts; the scholarships will be awarded to a college bound student committed to advancing their skills in any aspect of the fine arts (to include painting, drawing, watercolor, graphics, architecture/design, and photography) with preference to students seeking a higher education specific to those goals.

The June 10 event is just one way to honor Elisa’s memory. The race course starts and finishes near the Gazebo in the heart of the Village of Ellicottville.

Registration is free and starts at 8:30 a.m. Donations for the scholarship fund will be gladly accepted. For more information, visit www.elisahugheyscholarship.com.