MEDFORD, Ore -- Around 800 people participated in the 3rd Annual Run with Grace 5K Run on Saturday Morning, at Griffin Creek Elementary.
Grace Holt was only 15-years-old when she took her own life in 2016. She was cross-country runner at South Medford High School.
The run was started not only to honor her life, but also to spread positive encouragement around the community.
The proceeds from the event go into a fund that the Holt family set up, which funds the opportunity for underprivileged children to go to summer camp.
The day started with a memorial video, featuring sound bites from Grace's mother and friends. Then, everybody in attendance honored Grace's life in a moment of silence.
Before the run, many people gathered in the gym. They danced, smiled, played games, and painted rocks. Many rocks were painted with inspirational phrases like "You Matter." The rocks could either be kept, or donated in a bucket for anyone to have.
The run started at around 10:15. The fog and cold did not stop any of the runners from having a good time.
Several people represented Grace's love for animals. They mainly pointed out her love for chickens. They did so by dressing in chicken outfits, or carrying stuffed chickens during the race.
Grace's mother Susan Holt is a health teacher at Hedrick Middle School. When she finished the run, she was really thankful for how the community has come together. She also talked about how much the event has grown.
"It feels wonderful. We had over 850 people here. The community is incredibly supportive and we raised a ton of money for kids, to celebrate Grace's life, and it just turned out to be a huge success." Said Holt.
While that seems like it would wrap up the inspirational story. There were still other moments to come.
Nicole Deflavio, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, finished not too far behind.
"Cancer could not hold me back!" Deflavio shouted, as she crossed the finish line.
She talked about how the Grace Run was a perfect opportunity to show what cancer patients can accomplish, despite their setback.
You can donate to the scholarship fund set up by the Holt family at the run's website.
You can also nominate a child to be considered for a scholarship.
"There are only two requirements, that the child is kind, and has a financial need." Holt said.
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