Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Jersey Mike's Memory Rocks On

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Apr 1, 2014 3:00 PM

Photo by

Mike Van Jura and his son Lennon.

If you've been to any of the great shows that have come to the Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing Company in the past few years, chances are that Jersey Mike booked the show. Mike Van Jura, best known as Jersey Mike, was a transplant from New Jersey who moved to Harrisburg and jump-started the capital city's music scene. Mike made the city his own and used his skill and connection to bring great music to the Harrisburg area and also connect with various organizations. He was even about to run for city council.

In 2012, at age 36, Mike's life was abruptly cut short by a heart attack. He left behind two young children, Kaiya and Lennon. Mike's positive impact on the community was reciprocated for his children when friends of his organized the first Jersey Mike Rock & Run the following year. The event helped raise money for the K+L Guardian foundation, a college fund created to benefit Mike's children.


This year will be the second Jersey Mike Rock & Run. The friends who put it together last year, Jason Bowser, Sara Bozich and Josiah Ferris, have organized a nonprofit called Run Positive. Its focus is to promote heart-healthy activities and help those who have lost a loved one to deal with their grief in a healthy way. 

This year's race continues to benefit the K+L Guardian foundation but will also benefit the children of Dylan Scott of Duncannon, PA who passed away earlier this year of a heart attack, leaving behind a wife and four daughters.

The Jersey Mike Rock + Run 5K takes place on April 19th on city Island and Riverfront Park. More information is available at

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