MEDFORD, Ore.-- More than 500 people ran, walked, and showed their support at the 2nd Annual Run with Grace 5K, to not only spread awareness for mental illness but to celebrate and honor the life of Grace Holt. Hedrick Middle School PE/Health Teacher, Susan Holt turned her greatest tragedy into a way to give back and spread kindness to the community, all in her daughter's name. Two years ago, her daughter Grace Holt committed suicide and her mom wants to make sure she is not forgotten.
“She's so much more than a girl who took her life. She's left so many people better people, more kind people, more empathetic people. She left this world a better place," said her mom, Susan Holt.
Saturday, hundreds of people came together to honor her.
"It makes me feel so good because I think about her every day, all the time. She never leaves me. For so many people to stop one morning and just think about her, it just means so much to me," Holt said.
"It's unique in that it's probably the one race that it's not really about the run it's more about the event and just the support," said Race Director Lisa Hutchins.
"The slogan 'Kindness Matters' I think is what Grace lived by. She was a great friend and a very kind person and I think this is a great way to honor her," said her best friend, Lindsey Gurr.
The money raised for at the 5K will go toward the Grace and Kindness Scholarship Fund. It awards kids scholarships so they can have the opportunity to participate in one of the things Grace loved most, summer camp. Last year, the scholarship fund was able to send 30 kids to camp. This year, they want to send more.
"Grace wanted to make everybody happy and she left everybody and everywhere she was at with a little bit of kindness and it felt like just a little better. That's kind of what she was about," Holt said.
If you would like to donate to the Grace and Kindness Scholarship Fund, or nominate a child to go to camp, you can head here.
National Suicide Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273- 8255