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Carol Hardemon to receive 2018 Milton Hershey Award


Carol Hardemon to receive 2018 Milton Hershey Award


INDIANAPOLIS -- With nearly 50 years of service to youth track & field on the local, regional and national levels, Carol Hardemon has been selected to receive the 2018 Milton Hershey Award, USATF announced Wednesday. Created by the partnership between USATF and The Hershey Company, the Milton Hershey Award annually honors an individual whose volunteer contributions to youth track & field and fitness have positively affected the lives of young people.


Hardemon will receive the award July 24 at opening ceremonies for the 2018 USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Based in Miami-Dade, Florida, Hardemon has impacted youth track & field on every level. She was a volunteer with Hershey’s Track & Field Games for all 37 years of the program’s existence. Among other roles, she was a coach and chaperone at the Hershey North American Final and served as the program’s Florida chairperson for 10 years. Hershey now sponsors RunJumpThrow, USATF’s flagship youth activity program that has reached more than 600,000 children in 50 states since its launch in 2015.


“I am so pleased to receive the Milton Hershey Award,” Hardemon said. “Whether working with The Hershey Company, USATF, Miami-Dade, or local schools, we are always trying to make a difference in the lives of young people through this great sport.”


“Carol Hardemon embodies what the Milton Hershey Award is all about,” said Leigh Horner, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for The Hershey Company. “It was thanks to people like Carol Hardemon that Hershey’s Track & Field Games enjoyed a 37-year legacy, and we are honored that she continues to be part of RunJumpThrow. ”


The 2003 USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year, Hardemon has served USATF as a regional Junior Olympic coordinator, is active in USATF Youth programs and is a stalwart of USATF’s Florida Association, where she hosts RunJumpThrow events in the Miami-Dade area.


“Carol Hardemon is an icon of USATF youth track & field, and she is richly deserving of the Milton Hershey Award,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “She has personally had a positive impact on thousands of children, whether they are getting started with RunJumpThrow or competing at the national level at the USATF Hershey Junior Olympics.”


Hardemon is the co-founder of the Metro-Dade Track Club, and she served as an assistant track coach at Miami Northwestern Senior High. Her selfless dedication to youth track has long been lauded: June 24, 2004, was declared “Carol Hardemon Day” by Miami-Dade County, and she has been inducted into the Miami Northwestern Hall of Fame and the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame.


For more information on RunJumpThrow, visit


For more information on the 2018 USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, click here.

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