Giving back: New Oasis, the Virginia Beach community and the Morrills

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Giving back: New Oasis, the Virginia Beach community and the Morrills

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HERNDON, VA. — In June of 2012, Kristy Morrill, Virginia Beach student coordinator for New Oasis International Education, learned that her sister, Kendra Atherton, was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of unknown primary site (ACUPS), a life-threatening cancer.

After her diagnosis, Atherton started her battle with vengeance. A personal trainer by trade, she continued to eat healthy and inspire others as a positive role model. A devoted mother and friend, Atherton always tried to be there for everyone.

Atherton passed away on November 24, 2012.

A year later, Morrill and her family created an event, “K5K: A Run for Kendra,” to honor Athernon’s legacy, while giving back to the community and helping those who are also overcoming losses to cancer. The event raises funds for students at local high schools who have lost family members to cancer.

According to the K5K official website, since the founding of the run, it has raised more than $25,000 to support students in the Virginia Beach community.

Now, three years later, in 2015, the event is an annual occurrence in the Virginia Beach area. When New Oasis staff learned about the event from a casual conversation with Morrill, they immediately decided to form a team and sponsor the event.

On Saturday, Nov. 21, a team of staff from New Oasis will join Kristy and her family in running the 5K along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk to lift up one of its own in the spirit of community.

“I can’t tell you how much it means that New Oasis is sponsoring the event,” Morrill said.

Morrill works for New Oasis as a student coordinator in the Virginia Beach area where she assists international students at Cape Henry Collegiate School with their immersion into an American education system.

“Morrill is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet,” said Tammy Becker, homestay regional manager for New Oasis.

“She is always putting others first, and goes out of her way to provide nurturing care to every one of her students. When we were presented with the opportunity to assist a new staff member, we didn’t hesitate to act.”

New Oasis was founded in 2008 and partners with the most competitive private high schools in the United States. For more information about New Oasis or the 5K, contact Mike Atkinson at or 703-870-7260.