State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Emotional Afternoon

by on April 10, 2014 10:02 AM

STATE COLLEGE — In honor of the late Kevin Dare and to ensure the future safety of area track and field students, the Kevin Dare Foundation donated and installed a new pole-vault Soft Box to the State College Area School District Track and Field program. A dedication ceremony, which was open to students, faculty and the general community, was held Tuesday afternoon at the track and field behind State High’s south building.

Kevin Dare was a Penn State Pole-Vaulter and National Champion who tragically passed away in 2002 at the Big Ten Men’s Track & Field Championships in Minnesota. The Kevin Dare Foundation, based in State College, was formed shortly after.

Eric Dare, Kevin’s brother and executive vice president of the Kevin Dare Foundation, said he spent many afternoons at the school’s track and field.

“I would watch my brother for hours,” he said.

Eric and his wife donated the Soft Box to the SCASD so students could have a safer way to compete. Prior to the Soft Box installation, the track was equipped with an old, concrete steel box, according to the SCASD.

 “This just felt like the appropriate thing to do,” Eric Dare said.

Jenn Evans, head girls’ track and field coach at SCASD, said Kevin was someone who was always pleasant and excited. She said it means a lot that his family has taken his passion in this direction.

“We’re just so incredibly grateful,” she said. “(It’s) so nice to have something here to honor (Kevin).”

Currently the State College track has two pole-vault runways, one of which is equipped with the Soft Box from the Kevin Dare Foundation.

When the Kevin Dare Foundation was first formed, it focused its efforts on further improving the sport’s safety mandates. It developed the world’s first approved pole-vault specific helmet and the first Soft Box, while trying to increase awareness of the dangers and safety standards needed for the sport, according to the SCASD.

More recently, The Kevin Dare Foundation also offers college scholarships, through its “Life…Back On Track” program. These scholarships are offered to high school athletes who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness. Applications for the scholarships, and more information on the non-profit organization, can be found on the foundation’s website:

Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
Disclaimer: Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.