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Fourth annual Krista Johnson Memorial Run For Change raises $15,000

By Ryan Paulsen, The Daily Observer


Krista Johnson was known for her unquenchable spirit, and on Saturday, that legacy lived on.

Despite persistent, relentless rain, more than 700 runners turned up on June 11 to take part in the fourth annual Memorial Run for Change that bears her name, and between them raised more than $15,000.

"It says to me that the community is super supportive, and I'm very appreciative," says Laurie Johnson, Krista's mother and the event's organizer.

After four years, passion in the community for the event is still running strong. The fact that the event has become something of a tradition among local runners is one factor that Johnson considers a reason for its success this year, even despite less than favourable conditions.

"People are getting in the groove, and they look forward to it, I think. I'm very surprised to see how many people are her, but very happy for sure."

Even for traditions, though, there have to be some variables.

"We didn't do the silent auction this year," Johnson explains. "I thought I'd give businesses a break from me pounding on their doors, plus it's just something to change it up. But raffle sales have been going very well, and we've got lots of great prizes."

Those prizes ranged from local gift certificates and smaller prizes all the way up to a new mountain bike and stand-up paddle board.

As for the whopping pile of money raised by the dedicated-but-soggy runners?

"It'll go to various projects and programs in the community for youth," says Johnson.

Chief among those programs and projects are the Elevate! youth fitness studio downtown, which she hopes to continue to expand in terms of both equipment and staffing, and the outdoor Fitness Grove at the Riverside Park end of the Kiwanis Walkway along Pembroke's waterfront. The run on Saturday was also the occasion for the official unveiling of the grove's newest piece of fitness equipment - a leg press machine.

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