Dawne Gee
Dawne Gee

The 37th Madison Courier Memorial Firecracker 10K Walk/Run will be without a familiar face — longtime Madison Courier publisher and race organizer Jane Jacobs, who lost her battle with cancer this spring.

“It was unique because we’re honoring my mother,” said Curt Jacobs, Jane Jacobs’ son who has taken over as the Courier’s publisher. “We took a different approach this year.”

In honor of her dedication to one of the most popular Madison Regatta Festival events, this year’s race was renamed for Jacobs.

The event will be on Saturday, July 4, with both the walk and run beginning at 8 a.m. The 10K begins at Madison Consolidated High School and the course winds through the hills of Madison.

There will be two celebrity starters, WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee and former MCHS athlete Jordan Partee. 

Partee finished fourth in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals in the 160-pound weight class for wrestling in 2014, he placed sixth in the state in long jump in 2012 and he tied the MCHS school record for most touchdowns in a game in 2013 with five. 

Partee competes in track and field at Indiana Tech and, given his athletic success and ties to the community, he was a logical choice to be a starter for the Courier 10K. “We’ve had our eye on him for some time,” Jacobs said.

Gee was chosen in honor of Jane Jacobs.

“She was very community-minded and giving,” Jacobs said of his mother. “We were looking for somebody to reflect that. She kind of has that same persona. We thought that’d be a nice connection.”

Gee joined WAVE 3 News in 1994, and she is an active member of the community through her support of various health-related organizations and charities.

Gee, who has been to Madison before, said like most “nostalgic” towns, Madison is beautiful.

“People are kind,” she said. “It’s a sense of community that a lot of places have lost.”