Terry Pacheco, a teacher at Bonneville High School, coached cross country for years. He had numerous students run for state titles while he offered his guidance — but this year, his runners ran for a different reason.
Pacheco was diagnosed with type I diabetes and has been hospitalized for the past few months due complications related to his diagnosis.
When Kari Warmoth, one of Pacheco’s former runners, first heard of his recent complications, she knew she needed to do something to give back.
“We organized a 5K in honor of the greatest track and cross country coach in the world,” Warmoth said. “[The 5K revenue] is to help him cover some of his medical costs because he was such a great coach and friend to all of us.”
Warmoth ran for Pacheco all three years while attending Bonneville High School. She and a few other alumni organized the event and donated their time to assemble all of the individual facets like t-shirts, race numbers, entertainment and reunite all of Pacheco’s runners.
Chris Crezee is another alumnus who ran for coach Pacheco during high school.
“When I was about to start at Bonneville, I was really discouraged to run cross country, so much to the point that I didn’t start going to practice for the first couple weeks,” Crezee said. “Coach Pacheco came to my house and told me that I should just go out and give it my all, promising I would have fun in the process.”
Crezee went on to compete in the regional and state championships where he says he saw the payoff for all his hard work.
“Had he not been the kind of man he is, I would’ve missed out on some of the greatest times I had in high school,” Crezee said. “He taught me so many life-long lessons.”
Despite his busy teaching schedule and spending time with his family, Pacheco still found time for his runners in the off season.
Lorne Nelson, another alumnus coached by Pacheco, also participated in the fundraiser.
Maria Silva Nelson, Lorne’s mother, said coach Pacheco was there for her son’s surgery during his senior year.
Pacheco was at the hospital for dialysis when he found Lorne’s mom in the waiting room. “He could see I was worried and stayed with me until the surgery was complete and everything had worked out well,” Nelson said. “I will never forget his compassion and kindness.”
The Facebook page where the benefit 5K was organized has been filled with fond memories of coach Pacheco and his impressive character by past runners and their family members.
All of those who are interested in donating to help with his medical expenses can donate through a charitable account at America First Credit Union by mentioning his full name.
Through all of the 5K efforts, Warmoth and those who participated raised a total of $2,543, all of which will go toward Pacheco’s medical bills.