Run to be held in honor of Perry Badia, pedestrian killed on campus


Perry Badia, center, died in a traffic accident on Oakland University’s campus on May 14 last year. A 5K run will be held on campus on May 22 to honor his memory. 

A year after his tragic death, a 5k will take place at OU in memory of Perry Badia, the first pedestrian to be killed on campus.  

On May 14, 2015, Perry was hit by a car while jogging along Pioneer Drive around 4:52 p.m. He was taken to McLaren Oakland Hospital, transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m., according to a previous Post article. He was 54.

“He died doing what he loved so much,” said Dan Badia, Perry’s cousin and one of the event coordinators.

The Perry Badia Memorial 5k Run/Walk will be held on Sunday, May 22 and proceeds will go to the Cousino High School cross country program, Dan said. He also wants to raise awareness for motorists and pedestrians.

Perry started running at Warren Cousino High School and joined the cross country team, according to the event website. He ran marathons as far away as New York and Boston.

He loved running at OU because he thought the campus is beautiful and liked the hills. Perry and Dan grew up in Warren, and Perry said Macomb County was as “flat as a pancake.” The two were six months apart in age.

“He was like a brother,” Dan said. They kept in touch over the phone and met up regularly to golf or go to sporting events.

“We always made time for weekly calls at the very least,” Dan said.

Perry also loved to cook and take his daughters, Ashlee, 15 at the time of his death, and Sabrina, then 12, to their sporting events, according to his obituary in the Post.

Perry got his parents into walking – they are in their 80s and walk about five miles each day, Dan said.

The idea for a run was born shortly after Perry’s death, Dan said. He brought it up to some of Perry’s relatives and running friends at the funeral service.

“It just came naturally that this was what we needed to do,” he said.

In addition to his daughters, Perry is survived by his parents, Joseph and Maria Badia, and his sisters, Lisa Badia and Carol Elzerman, according to the event website.

Dan said OU was very helpful in organizing the event.

“Support was immediate,” he said.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a ceremony at 8:45. The run/walk will start at 9 a.m. from P35. The event costs $25 if you register in advance on the event website or $30 the day of at the event. Participants will receive a T-shirt, medal and refreshments.