Good Neighbor Awards: From Alex With Love Foundation

May 10, 2016

AlexLoosIn 2004, the possibilities were limitless for 15-year-old star athlete Alexzandra (Alex) Loos. She was one of two girls on the Bentworth High School boys soccer team (there was no girls’ team at the time), and had recently set a WPIAL record in the 1600 meter when she ran track for the first time – placing third at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship. 

Her older sister Jaminique Miliren (now a Pharmacist) was in college back then, and proud of her little sister’s accomplishments. “She loved to run; it’s what she was good at. And when it came to soccer, she once told me she would rather play on the boys’ team – it was more of a challenge! She never looked at anything as impossible, everything was just another challenge.”

In August of that same year, a speeding car struck Alex as she and a friend were walking home from soccer practice. She hung on for 36 hours at the hospital, and then she was gone. 

“She was very tough. They told us while we were at the hospital – the average person would not have survived even as long as she did,” recounts Jaminique. 

It was an unthinkable loss for the Loos family. And they struggled with where to put their grief, and how make sure no one forgot their remarkable Alex. 

By June of the following year they had channeled their energy, and their grief, into the very first “Run for Alex”. Today, the From Alex With Love Foundation is a Washington County scholarship and philanthropic fund that serves as a memorial and a testament to the short but powerful life of Alexzandra Loos.   

The Run for Alex, held annually on the first Saturday in June, remains the centerpiece of the foundation’s efforts, and its chief fundraising vehicle. The proceeds go to causes the Loos believe Alex would find meaningful. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded 156 scholarships, given over 800 books to elementary students, made Christmas brighter for 13 families in need, sent soccer balls to soldiers to teach Iraqi children to play, donated to six different funds for local children with medical needs, donated 37 computers for local school incentive programs (including a reading incentive program), contributed to the Crime Victims Memorial Garden in Washington, donated books to Washington County Crime Victims, donated to camp Ben-A-Fit, donated to the Leader Dog Program, and gives a $500 annual donation to the Joe Pokorny memorial scholarship.

“Everything we do is a reflection of who she was. From the run, to the scholarships, to the books we donate to second graders. We do that because she would go over on her lunch breaks and read to the second grade,” says Jaminique. 

For Alex’s parents, Jim and Cathy – the countless hours the family pours into the foundation are about keeping their daughter’s memory alive. 

“The run is more than a fundraiser, it’s a day we remember Alex. And the support from the community has been outstanding,” says Jim. Cathy adds that it makes her happy “to know that Alex has been able to continue to touch people's lives through the foundation.”

“It’s really rewarding,” says Jaminique. “To see people come together because of Alex, and to support our efforts – it reminds you there are still so many good people in this world.” 

For all of their efforts and meaningful contributions to the community of Washington County, the family still feels their loss, and still misses Alex. Jaminique is married now, and the mother of a one year old boy named Owen. “Alex would be an aunt now,” her sister muses. 

From Alex With LoveAnd, fittingly, the entire family – Jaminique, Cathy and Jim, and younger brother Colton – are runners now, running for Alex, and for themselves. “It wasn’t until we organized the first Run for Alex that I started running,” says Jaminique. “It was the first race I ever ran.  And I do it every year.”  She laughs. “I’m the crazy person running from working the registration table, to the start line! And right now, I’m training to run my third full marathon – I’m running the Pittsburgh marathon later this year.”

It’s something they can all do together, and is also a reminder of Alex. “It’s bittersweet.  We wish she was here to run with us. But my dad puts it like this: ‘one of my daughters got me running, and the other one keeps me running.’ I’m always signing him up for races!  So, the Run for Alex got him started, and I’m the one that keeps him going.” 

As for what Alex would think of her family’s efforts, “She would be impressed. And proud,” says Jaminique. “She did so much, she was so busy, but she always found time to help people. She cared so much – and she’d be totally into it.” 

Range Resources is honored to recognize the From Alex with Love Foundation and our Good Neighbors, the Loos family, for their work and generosity on behalf of the Washington County community, in memory of daughter and sister, Alex Loos.  

To read more about the Good Neighbor Awards here, visit Range's Community Engagement section of the website. 

Read about the other Good Neighbor Award Recipients here: